Actress Malinda Williams Launches HBCU Coding Boot Camp For Women


March 1, 2024

She learned a new skill and is now making it more accessible for the next generation!

Malinda Williams, best known for her roles in The Wood and the Soul Food television series, is paving the way for a new era of empowerment by launching The E.S.T.E.A.M. Project—a coding boot camp dedicated to fostering diversity and equal opportunities for women at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The initiative, created through Williams’ non-profit organization, Arise And Shine Foundation Inc., aims to equip women with essential coding and technical skills, breaking barriers in the tech industry, Black Enterprise reports.

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The actress initiated the Arise And Shine Foundation in 2023, driven by her commitment to serving as a channel of information, inspiration, and empowerment for women from all walks of life. The foundation actively collaborates with educational institutions, corporations, and communities to initiate and amplify programs focused on fostering the personal and professional growth of underserved and underrepresented women and girls.

Williams expressed her vision on the Arise And Shine Foundation’s website, stating, “I wanted to create a space where women could come together and learn from each other, support each other, and collaborate on projects that pour back into their communities.” In sharing that she’s been learning how to code for more than a decade, she continued, “[coding] has empowered me by unlocking doors that I never knew could be available to me. I believe The E.S.T.E.A.M. Project HBCU Coding Bootcamp will offer a way for young women to acquire valuable skills to sustain success in the 21st century.”

The pilot program, spanning four weeks, revolves around educational initiatives that mentor scholars in entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (E.S.T.E.A.M). Participants will learn the foundations of coding, app development, and STEAM training, discovering how these skills can open doors to diverse career paths. The curriculum also includes mastering Apple’s SwiftUI programming language, facilitated through Apple’s Community Education Initiative. This partnership ensures The E.S.T.E.A.M. Project receives hardware, scholarships, and professional learning assistance.


The coding boot camp aims not only to provide technical skills but also to inspire and share impactful life lessons. A dedicated in-person weekend offers participants the opportunity to network, building connections that extend beyond the confines of the program.

Applications for The E.S.T.E.A.M. Project are open until March 31st. Eligible applicants must be women enrolled at an HBCU in good standing, with an interest in coding and availability for the entire duration of the program. The in-person kick-off weekend is scheduled from May 31 to June 2, 2024, with the virtual coding curriculum extending from June 3 to June 30, 2024. Program hopefuls can apply here.

We’re excited for Williams’ venture in creating lasting impact and tangible opportunities for the next generation of HBCU scholars.

Cover photo: Actress Malinda Williams Launches HBCU Coding Boot Camp For Women / Credit: Kayla Oaddams / Getty


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