Thanks to the dedication of many wonderful volunteers, TechGirlz is inspiring middle-school girls to consider themselves young technologists and explore the possibilities of working with technology to empower their future careers.
TechGirlz is a nonprofit organization operated by Creating IT Futures, CompTIA’s tech workforce charity. It offers free, fun, hands-on workshops for middle-school girls on topics ranging from game design to solving genetic mysteries.
These TechShopz In A Box™ workshops are led by volunteers, some of whom are high-school-age young women who also have benefited from the same mentoring and encouragement.
To recognize and thank three such students, we’ve recapped articles written by TechGirlz volunteers Alison Perch and Amy Freeman that profile Paige Burns, Halle Derry and Dhivya Arasappan, young women who have used their love of technology to encourage other girls.
Recent high-school graduate Halle Derry is already on her way toward a promising career in technology. Since graduating from Cinnaminson High School in New Jersey, Derry has started her own website/blog focused on cutting-edge technological advances inspired by the MIT Technology Review. She’s also proficient in Python and Java.
Derry’s passion for technology led her to volunteer with TechGirlz as an instructor and teaching assistant. She discovered TechGirlz during her junior year of high school while doing research on colleges.
“The idea of learning more about technology before college with other girls by my side was very intriguing, ” she says.
Derry says she learns something new at every TechShop workshop. She loves connecting and learning with others, and she encourages other girls to do the same.
“I understand that some girls often are scared at their first workshop, but I can guarantee they will leave happy and more curious than ever,” Derry explains.
Derry recommends that parents make technology a part of everyday life, promote hands-on learning, and encourage creativity. Derry’s own father inspired her tech journey by purchasing a Raspberry Pi for her.
The TechGirlz mission resonates with Derry, and she wants to help reduce the gender gap in STEM careers.
“People may not believe that the gender gap is real, but I have witnessed boys outnumber girls in my computer science classes in high school. Therefore, it’s important to try and inspire future generations,” she stresses. “By taking online classes focused on computer science and volunteering with TechGirlz, I feel more prepared for my future in tech.”
Related Posts from Creating IT Futures
- TechShopz In A Box™: Free, fun and engaging hands-on tech workshops for teenage girls from TechGirlz (blog post)
- 7 Myths Deflecting Teens from Tech Careers – Part 1 (podcast)
- 7 Myths Deflecting Teens from Tech Careers – Part 2 (podcast)
- 7 Myths Deflecting Teens from Tech Careers – Part 3 (podcast)
- Creating IT Futures Acquires TechGirlz to Inspire Middle-School Girls in Tech (blog post)