Safaa Berkani checks out the latest technology at Microsoft in New York City.

Safaa Berkani checks out the latest technology at Microsoft in NYC

How does a young Moroccan girl explore technology and develop her interest in the  STEM field?

Upon the suggestion of her teacher, she applied to attend the TechGirls program administered by Legacy International.

TechGirls, a U.S. Department of State initiative, is an international exchange program designed to empower young girls to pursue careers in the science and technology sectors.

“I applied for the program and was chosen to participate. Trust me—it was the most wonderful decision I ever made.”Her interest in technology started when watching her father “fixing machines and preparing his science engineering lessons.” She and 26 other young women from Middle East and North African countries came to the U.S. and soon bonded as sisters in technology. Together they visited innovators and leaders in technology both in Washington DC and New York City.

Safaa Berkani high above the NYC skyline

“I was lucky to meet inspiring people who taught me that with perseverance and hard work anyone can achieve his or her dreams, and become a true leader. I went to famous places I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity to visit, such as the White House, Google (where we had the opportunity to learn how to use Scratch software), Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft (where we got introduced to the newest technology).”

Now, having returned to her home in Morocco she  remains in touch with her mentors like  Kelly Hoey from Women Innovate Mobile, Carolyn Fox from National Geographic, Mary Byron from Goldman Sachs,and others, who “help me to stay focused and inspired.”

Read more about TechGirls like Safaa TECHGIRLS BLOG.

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