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TechGirls 2019 Capstone – Central Asian girls share their memories

On July 30, 2019, over 85 people came to to AT&T forum to celebrate the accomplishments of the TechGirls 2019 cohorts from USA, Central Asia and MENA regions. Over the course of a month-long stay in Washington DC and Virginia, future female STEM leaders built lifelong skills and memories. Watch this dynamic presentation by Manizha (Tajikistan) and Aruzhan (Kazahstan).

Aruzhan: Hello dear ladies and gentlemen. We are so glad to be here to represent Central Asia in this amazing program for the very first time. In our big family, there are 24 girls from 4 countries: Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.We had a community service. We went to Anacostia river and were cleaning the banks of the river from trash. It was so hot outside and we got sweaty and wet, but when we saw that 126 pounds of trash we collected in one hour, we realized what a great job we did. We realized that it was small but first step of changing our worlds ecology for us. Thank you for this, TechGirls. 

Manizha: When I was on the long flight over, I was making myself crazy because I had a fear that people would not accept me and that I am going to be all alone. I was so mistaken because now we are one big family. There was a day, when my Kyrgyz sister fell into the river. And then FOURTEEN girls literally jumped into the water. They were dry and then got wet. In that moment, I wish it had been me, because I know they  would all do the same to me. Talking about rivers. Do you know how many of our tears made new rivers in America? We made a sea of tears when we left our host families.  Our weekend in an American host family was amazing. We all went hiking, shopping, cooked our traditional and American food.

Aruzhan: That was one of the brightest experiences of the program, but I know people who almost cried at the end of our Job Shadow day. We had to visit and work in big companies for one day. So we wore all our best clothes, high-heels, super business-like and then the guy, who came to welcome us, was in shorts and flip flops. Were we surprised?  It showed us that even in such a big and successful company, they have a very homey atmosphere, no stress at all. We realized that the most important part for them was teamwork.

Manizha: By the way,  do you remember, the founder of our job shadow company studied in Virginia Tech, just like us ! We stayed at Virginia Tech for two weeks and had two amazing courses: Cyber Security and Java. They were very clear, up-to-date and so interesting.  I can imagine how tired our teachers got from answering  all our questions.

Thank you for including Central Asia in 2019