Skip to content

Allison – Embracing Global Citizenship

Allison, TechGirls 2022, USA 

Going into TechGirls, I never could have imagined what this program would begin to mean to me. As a girl who had never been overseas before, I used to dream about foreign countries. But they weren’t real to me until TechGirls. There, I met people who had been born and raised in countries from every part of the world, who had traveled thousands of miles to get to where we stood, and whose life experiences differed significantly from my own, yet we still shared so much in common. I came away from TechGirls not only with a deeper understanding of the world but also with many cherished new friends. 

After graduating high school last year, I chose to spend a year in Kaohsiung, Taiwan learning Mandarin Chinese through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program, in large part due to my TechGirls experience. While there, my Chinese abilities not only improved exponentially, but I also learned what it was like to be immersed in a language and culture so different from my own. Through stepping out of my comfort zone daily and small moments of peer-to-peer diplomacy, I expanded my worldview and was able to more fully step into my role as a global citizen. 

Aside from international connections, TechGirls has also had a lasting impact on my future professional pursuits. During the program, we had the opportunity to tour the network infrastructure on the Virginia Tech campus. At the time, I was thinking about pursuing a career in information technology, but I lacked real-world experiences and role models in the field, causing me to hesitate in pursuing this path that I was otherwise very passionate about. However, in that Virginia Tech server room, I realized that I was in the very room with the very machines surrounded by the very people doing the job that I wanted to do someday. And when I looked around and saw the other compassionate, friendly, outgoing, driven women around me equally as excited about these concepts, some pursuing and blazing their own paths in this exact field, I realized I belonged here. 

I am excited to embark on the next chapter of my life at Ole Miss studying Chinese and computer science with a computer security emphasis on a full scholarship, and I will forever be grateful to my fellow TechGirls for helping me get to where I am today. 

IMG_4091 - Allison Jensen
Accessibility Tools