Thursday, December 4, 2008

Young Women in Science & Technology

Young Women in Science and Technology (YWIST)

This is the tenth year that DeVry University has sponsored this daylong event as a service program for Georgia high schools. The goals of the program are to encourage and reinforce young women's interest in careers involving science and technology and to increase the number of young women pursing these careers. Over 400 high school juniors and seniors from all over Georgia along with their parents, teachers and guidance counselors had a day to explore career options, to be motivated by a panel of outstanding women professionals and to celebrate dreams for the future. The November 13th event was offered at no charge to the participants.

The students pictured to the left are in AP Computer Science at Centennial High School in Fulton County. They came to the YWIST event with ideas about careers in medicine and business. Their teacher hoped that they would be exposed to different aspects of technology and hear about additional new career options. The other adult with this group was a mother of one of the students. She was pleased to see how this program added to her daughter's long standing interest in technology and potentially provide some clarity on a path to a career. She was also pleased to see the theme of women in technology being promoted.

The next group of young women and moms were some of the representatives from the Center for Engineering and Applied Technology at Atlanta's Frederick Douglas High School. They talked enthusiastically about the process of applying as 8th graders with strong grades and written essays for selection into a program that now defines their high school experience.

The mothers' offered their own perspective on the day. They saw their participation in this event an another way to become informed and to be there for their daughters. A good education, good grades and GPA are all part of an overall plan that has to be in place to help these young women set goals and achieve success

Morgan County High School students along with Mr. Eric Hamilton, Assistant Principal started their day at 5:30 am in order to participate in the YWIST event. The students participate in the MCHS Math & Science Academy. The day's activities were part of a larger school strategy to encourage young women to follow careers of excellence, empower then to achieve and to formulate and follow their dreams. To have the MCHS students see women who have found success in a career of their choice and to hear the women's stories was a large motivation to make the trip.

The reflections of the students took shape in takeaway messages:
learned more about science and technology wants to persue careers in science broaden horizons always in style to be the best women should not feel inferior and can succeed you do not have to be a man to be powerful in this work

Panel Members provided equal portions of information and motivation through the stories of their own life stories and career goals. The Panel included:
Karen A. Albrecht, Engineering Site Director, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
Rosemary Cloud, Fire Chief, East Point Fire Department
Lynn Do, President, RenovoData, Inc.
Sue Miller, Managing Consultant, MDI Group: President, WIT Foundation
Jacqueline Plair-Rushin, Director, Global Customer Care, InterContinental Hotels Group
Kanchana Raman, Founder, President & CEO Avion Systems, Inc.
Kim Ruple, Director of Contracts, Georgia Technology Authority

Visit the DeVry website to learn more about the University along with the YWIST program and sponsors.

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