As a college sophomore in Ethiopia studying Statistics, Bethlehem was given the rare opportunity to be part of her school’s first-ever Computer Science program. She had never touched a computer before, let alone program one, but Betty said mentors guided her and helped her believe in herself, leading her to earn an M.S. in Software Engineering and go on to gain 23+ years of experience in the technology field leading numerous teams of software engineers.
However, Bethlehem was often disheartened to notice that her teams were missing something crucial - women. That’s when she shifted her career and founded uCodeGirl - the innovative driving force behind making girls intrigued and excited about developing technology solutions.
Created to intentionally rhyme with the phrase, “You go, girl!”, the all-female-powered organization is full-heartedly committed to embodying inspiration and empowerment. Through year-round programming, Bethlehem explains her vision of uCodeGirl as follows:
"We want to say to a young girl, ‘We will support and encourage you with mentorship. We will teach and guide you in acquiring technical skills. We will build a village around you and stand behind you through tutoring as you explore your potential and create your best self,’ so that the future generation is empowered with the skills and confidence they need to successfully navigate and actively participate in our increasingly digitally-driven world.”
At the core of uCodeGirl is access to skills and opportunities. At uCodeGirl, we not only teach technical skills, but we also create vast communities of like-minded peers. We invite young girls to come as they are and provide them with visible and accessible female mentors, enabling them to create solutions to real-world problems and engineer their world. Bethlehem’s call to action? "Join us to inspire and empower many more young women."
Bethlehem has been selected as a prestigious Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and was named the 2018 Fargo YWCA Woman of the Year for Science and Technology. Bethlehem also currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Fargo chapter of the International Women in Technology Association and The Prairie Public Broadcasting Services.