Farah Ghanma, TechGirls 2017, Jordan
How the TechGirls Experience Shaped My Life
The TechGirls program played a huge role in shifting my career path. I was ecstatic to know that I got accepted into the program, knowing that it was competitive to get accepted. I took part in various ICT exhibitions back in high school, and I genuinely enjoyed activities such as Robotics, web development, and visual programming. I always thought that I would follow my parents’ footsteps and pursue a career in the path of medicine. After I visited the United States, I decided to completely shift my career path, and this is where I decided to delve deeper into the world of programming! And here I am, a Software Engineering sophomore, fully content with the path I chose to pursue.
This experience made me want to immerse myself in STEM teaching as an officer in the TechGirls Alumnae Council. The TechGirls program has helped me realize my passion for Computer Science and Software Engineering, and I also wanted to provide that guidance to females from all around the MENA region. It is of utter importance to encourage more and more females to pursue STEM-related fields and inspire females to be catalysts towards change in their communities, especially given that STEM fields are generally male-dominated, meaning females are underrepresented in STEM.
TechGirls was an experience that completely changed my life! I wanted to provide that experience to other females in my region, despite the difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is how the TechGirls Programming Club came to be!
The Journey of the TechGirls Programming Club
After I was chosen to represent my country, Jordan, as an officer in the TechGirls Alumnae Council, I decided to explore STEM teaching. I wanted to see how I can contribute to teaching more females about the STEM field and discover ways I can inspire females to pursue careers in computer science and software engineering.
Back when I was in high school, I wished I had more guidance and knowledge regarding my field. I wish I got the chance to delve deeper into programming before starting my university journey, where I would have had a proper and solid background in my major before my freshman year as a university student. Thus, I wanted to provide that experience to females not only in Jordan, but in the wider Arab region as well.
I decided to share my knowledge about my field with females from all around the MENA region and chose to start the TechGirls Programming Club in February of 2021. The club was open to TechGirls Alumnae as well as all interested females from the MENA region. We started with the basics of the C++ programming language and incrementally started discussing more complex programming concepts. The club mainly revolved around solving computational problems and finding efficient solutions using all the programming concepts we learned each week. Our last session was a super enjoyable group hackathon. We solved contest questions together, and the participants got the chance to incorporate and solidify the knowledge they have learned throughout the programming sessions for the past 2-months.
The TechGirls Programming Club was an incredible journey. There was such amazing and active participation, and it makes me so happy to see a great number of females becoming more passionate about STEM.