About CS KickStart

We host a free week-long program for incoming freshman girls who are interested in computer science before the semester starts. Our program gives participants the opportunities to live in dorms; tour tech companies; learn Python, web development, and graphic design; and create memories that last a lifetime -- all to kickstart their college career. We provide an amazingly impactful introduction to college, as it highlights the opportunities and resources Cal has to offer, as well as provides an inspiring community of women in a male-dominated field. Our ultimate goal is to give girls the opportunity to pursue computer science regardless of the barriers female students typically face, during and after the program.

Gender Gap in the Tech Industry

Percentage of Female Students in CS and EECS

  • Currently EECS is at 20% female and CS is 26% female
  • Our program helps close the gender gap by creating a supportive community, providing female role models to participants, and giving resources to allow women to succeed in the tech industry.

  • Stats on CSK's Success

  • 100% of participants began their freshman year with friends who are also interested in computer science.
  • 99% of participants had a better sense of what computer science is after participating in CS KickStart.
  • 97% of participants would recommend CS KickStart to a friend who doesn't have programming experience.
  • 96% of participants felt more prepared to take their first computer science course at UC Berkeley.
  • 95% of participants agreed that CS KickStart had a positive effect on their motivation to pursue computer science.
  • 95% of participants agreed that CS KickStart had a positive effect on their programming skills.

  • Current Lead Organizers

    Cara Wolfe

    Angelica Pan

    Rachel Lim

    2019 Committees

    Grace Lin (Head)
    Alexia Britsch
    Kaitlyn Gunadhi
    Karina Le
    Emily Lu
    Katherine Shu
    Trevina Tan
    Julia Wang

    Harini Rajan (Head)
    Sarah Chin
    Rhea Manoharan
    Anika Rede
    Emy Tang
    Cordelia Varona
    Ria Vinod
    Tiffany Yu

    Tiffany Chung (Head)
    Josephine Kim
    Alisha Laroia
    Ellen Lasko
    Christine Nguyen
    Anika Rawat

    Julia Yu (Head)
    Michelle Cha
    Rupa Duggirala
    Catherine Gee
    Rachel Gregory
    Snehal Jain
    Lily Sai

    Jennifer Hu (Head)
    Amanda Jackson
    Lily Li

    Tiffany Ho (Head)
    Rachael Deng


    Floraine Berthouzoz

    Colleen Lewis

    Past Lead Organizers

    Julie Deng

    Caroline Zhou

    Alicia Kim

    Anais Miller

    Sreesha Venkat

    Saloni Shah

    Amanda Chow

    Natasha Shams

    Parul Singh

    Nisha Agarwal

    Jill Barcelona

    Amy Shu

    Joan Barcelona

    What are they up to now?

    Here's what some CS Kickstart alumni have done!

    Jenna-Kaelyn Huang


    Hi all! I'm Jenna-Kaelyn, an incoming fourth year computer science student. This past summer, I worked at Pandora on the Playlist Team, and this fall I will be working at Uber on the Uber Maps team. Other than CS, I’m passionate about live music and am on my way to attending all the major US music festivals. CS Kickstart was the perfect program for me coming into college, and I hope you find the program amazing as well! - 8/18/17

    Huda Khayrallah


    I was part of the first cohort of CS KickStart, and helped organize the program during my time at Berkeley. I am now a CS PhD student at Johns Hopkins working on Machine Translation. I am grateful to the program for helping me solidify my choice of major and career. But even more so, I am thankful for the mentors, classmates, and friends I met during the program and while organizing it. These are the people I continue to rely on as my support network. I am so proud of the continued success of the program. Congrats to all the current organizers! - 7/16/17

    Selena Shang


    CS Kickstart was a great experience for me because I met freshmen women who became my closest friends and best support network, as well as upperclassmen who became role models I could turn to for perspective. CSK also exposed me to a lot of student groups who would help me expand my circles even further and discover different career paths in CS. I will be starting at Yahoo as a product manager this July. - 7/18/17

    Elena Herbold


    I am now studying EECS and Japanese. I spend my free time lab assisting for Berkeley's CS61A class, volunteering at Berkeley Animal Community Services, and tutoring in Berkeley public schools.

    Hannah Huang


    This summer I'm interning at Raytheon. It's hard to believe that two years ago I went through CS Kickstart, struggling through python and seeing UC Berkeley for the first time. CS Kickstart introduced me to the amazing support and teamwork that the Berkeley CS program fosters, and encouraged all of us to provide the same experience for the generation as well.

    Linda He


    I've been helping out every summer with the program since then - it's a great opportunity to see the industry and make lasting connections. This summer, I'll be interning at LinkedIn as a software engineering intern.

    Vivian Nguyen


    Hey! I'm junior studying Computer Science at Berkeley. This summer I'll be interning at a start-up called Virool! CS Kickstart helped me meet one of my closest friends and gave me a lot of opportunities. Meeting the professors and engineers was awesome, it really helped me see the industry side and academia side.

    Robyn Zhang


    Hi everyone! I am currently a junior at UC Berkeley declared in Computer Science. CS KickStart was such a great experience for me and over the past couple of years I've really gotten to know the intelligent and inspiring women that have participated in this program. This summer, I am very excited to be at Salesforce as a software engineer intern on the Analytics Cloud team.

    Anran Li


    I will be starting in July as a Software Development Engineer at the 343 Industries studio at Microsoft working on the Halo video game!

    Elizabeth Lin


    I will be returning to Khan Academy as a Product Designer. Before starting, I plan to spend my summer exploring Europe's fashion capitals and art museums. CS KickStart helped me understand how computer science can be creative. I also met a large network of valuable women I've become close to over my college career, and I hope to keep in touch with in the future!

    Amy Tang


    Postgraduation, I'll be traveling to Turkey, Greece, and random bits of South America. I'll start working at Facebook late July.