By Jenny Oh.
The 2013-2014 Girls in Technology Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) has kicked off in Fairfax, VA with an orientation session for this year’s mentors!!
The MPP for Northern VA has 20 registered women, all very distinguished in the science, technology, engineering, art, and math fields, who will directly mentor and encourage high school girls to pursue STEM/STEAM fields. These passionate women attended the GIT mentor orientation session on Tuesday, September 24, 2013.
Mentors are exceptional women from various organizations across Washington DC. Companies represented include:
- Accenture Federal Services
- Booz Allen Hamilton
- ECS Federal Inc.
- Eyak Services LLC
- Link Solutions, Inc.
- NeuStar, Inc.
- General Dynamics
- Fairfax County Public School
- Sunflower Systems
Paige Eldridge, J.D., ACC Principal of Inside Edge Leadership, led a very meaningful discussion of what motivates mentors to mentor, as well as how to channel our motivations to effectively and purposefully direct high school girls towards the path of success. Many mentors shared their motivations for being mentor. Mentors said they wanted to encourage girls to:
- dream big
- be confident in who you are and how you are
- break barriers in a male dominated work and home
- provide insight to STEM possibilities
- there is no one path to success
Paige works with mentors regularly and commented that “you could write a book of the great stories mentors like these share about how they evolved into STEM careers. They haven’t always taken direct routes and sometimes they had to overcome a lot of adversity – even from their own families. But they are exactly the role models young girls need to forge ahead.”
Robin McDougal, this year’s new Girls in Technology Chair, shared GIT’s new mentoring framework, as well as provide insight to connecting with our protégés, the Generation Z girls. Robin relayed that “the key to Girl’s in Technology Mentor-Protégé Program is our ability as mentors to understand and strategically communicate to Generation Z, girls who are extremely tech-savvy and socially connected.” Robin provided examples of how to leverage social media, current trends, and innovative concepts to engage protégés in STEM studies.
Thank you to Kelly Moore and Angela Drummond from the Women In Technology Education Fund for their support at the Mentor Orientation session. Thank you also to AT&T Government Solutions for hosting the event.
The Mentor-Protégé Program will have 3 locations: Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC (launching Jan 2014).
The 2013-2014 Girls in Technology Committee members are:
- Chair – Robin McDougal
- Vice Chair – Cindy McDowell
- VA Program Chair – Jenny Oh
- MD Program Chair – Carmen Radelat
- DC Program Chair – Allyson McDougal
- Protégé Liaison Director – Catherine Carver
- Mentor Liaison Director – Edith Ababio
- Speaker Liaison Director – Irene Lane
- Social Marketing Director – Trish Barber
- Social Marketing Committee – Anika Lalmansingh, Ashley Smith
- Scholarship Chair – Susan Chait
- School Outreach Chair – Suzanne Harvey
- Registration Manager – Puja Chadha
- Share Our Success Chair – Deb Hennessy
- Survey Chair – Myennohweh McCurry
The Girls in Technology Mentor-Protégé Program officially launched in 2010. In 2011, the Mentor-Protégé Program received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Foundation. In 2012, the program met with the White House Council on Women and Girls to discuss the importance of mentorship and broadening opportunities for girls. GIT Mentor-Protégé Program is now in its third year!