TechGirls not only aims to educate young women in various technological fields but also serves to empower them by providing opportunities for them to teach those both outside and inside of the program. Many of the young women learned that teaching is a lesson in itself.
Khayria Ali Assaf, from the Palestinian Territories taught the program Movie Maker to her peers. At first, she worried about being able “to manage 20 girls without my teachers. But I controlled it easily because inspiration, cooperation, responsibility, creativity and all the aspects that have become an integral part of my character, were woven into my personality during my meetings in TechGirls program. I took a lot of leadership skills from it.”
Marina El Moufti, Lebanon, “learned that marketing your project is essential for people to engage in it. Also, I learned that people in my community are willing to engage in STEM but find it hard to do so because there are not enough opportunities to do so. I learned that not a lot of resources are needed to start create something new as long as there are creative people involved who are willing to work.”
Maya Moussa’s, Lebanon, “biggest accomplishment was the first session of the club. The students loved it, they didn’t want to leave. We ended up staying for 40 extra minutes. I loved seeing them so absorbed in what they’re creating. And I loved hearing people tell me they’re actually considering a STEM related career due to how much they enjoyed the club. It made me happy – I have actually contributed to some people’s journey.”
Laureen Abd Al Nabi, Palestinian Territories, “learned how to be patient, deal with elderly, organize her time. and for the app that I am developing, I’m learning a lot in programming.”
DANIELLE CONDUCTED LEADERSHIP CLASSES AND JAVA PROGRAMMING WORKSHOPS TO HER PEERS.
TechGirl Daniella Sous poses in front of the board after teaching her Java and Leadership class. “My biggest success, through the classes I found out I know so much and this experience improved my personality and raised my self esteem. I also found out that the girls are interested to attend and learn more. Their feedback is very positive and encouraging. I come to rely on myself more.” — Daniella Sous, Palestinian Territories
TechGirls, a U.S. Department of State initiative, is an international exchange program designed to inspire and empower girls from the Middle East and North Africa to pursue deeper level of training in technology through hands-on skills development.
The TechGirls program builds on the U.S. global commitment to advance the rights of women and girls around the world.
Since its first year in June 2012, TechGirls has brought over 106 teenage girls (ages 15-17) from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, and Yemen have travelled to the United States for a three-week exchange. While in the United States, TechGirls participate in an interactive technology and computer camp, join a tech company for a day of job shadowing, and participate in community service initiatives.
Now in its fifth year, TechGirls 2016 will be better than ever. The 23-day program is packed with skill-development workshops and interactions with America’s most innovative tech professionals as well as 50 hours of study at iD Tech Camp. The TechGirls program improves the participants’ ability to enter tech fields and gain access to higher education, as well as offering them a rich cultural immersion experience.