Nada, TechGirls 2020, Egypt
TechGirls is an essential milestone in my understanding of how global citizenship works. Not only was I exposed to new cultures, but also, I witnessed a unique perspective of diversity fostering our creativity and professional growth. The experience inspired and encouraged us to work even harder to conduct our projects and community service activities in all the meetings and gatherings to give back to such a life-changing community.
I was inspired to focus the theme of my project on mental health after the Hokie wellness session, Growth Mindset, that we took as part of the Virginia Tech college readiness program. I was impressed by how little I knew about the intricate and small details of the growth/fixed lifestyle that go unseen in day-to-day situations. At that time, I thought of the idea of my project that featured informational sessions about mental health in STEM, specifically for 15-to-17-year-old girls.
The cooperation in the TechGirls community has gone beyond the program. I worked with my fellow TechGirl, Amina, the founder of the Teenix team, during the project planning phase. I partnered with Teenix to execute my project as a 6-day virtual camp that featured motivational speeches of women in STEM highlighting their mental health journey, professional psychological guidance, and dealing with mental health issues as a youth in STEM.
Throughout the program, I was impressed by the mentors who were passionate about making us understand the world around us and being aware of global challenges. Their knowledge and skills enriched me on both professional and personal levels. When it comes to talking about how TechGirls inspired me, I should not use the past tense because its impact on me is lifelong; I am still learning about myself and others through the endless opportunities TechGirls offers me. The greatest of these offers is being a TechGirls alumna advisor to mentor new TechGirls. That is the most critical factor in my experience with this community; the giving-back spirit and the desire to inspire others just like TechGirls had inspired me. My favorite part of TechGirls is the regular networking sessions where we share our updates and opportunities. During these sessions, I feel the cooperative and encouraging spirit that TechGirls is all about.