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Takhmina – Global STEM Skills

Takhmina, Tajikistan, TechGirls 2020

Blood was moving inside the veins and supplying my brain with a decent amount of oxygen. Brain neurons used electrical impulses and chemical signals to transmit information between different areas of the brain, and between my brain and the rest of the nervous system. Focusing on the thinking process made me vulnerable to every aspect of the brain. Efficiency, multitasking, critical and analytical thinking- that’s how I would describe Data Science course during the TechGirls program at  Virginia Tech University. 

Challenging classes, such as these, improved the way we think and synthesize information. We had to work with big data and interpret it as simply as possible into visual representation using coding. “Takhmina, it is a huge task, but I am sure you can tackle it! Keep Going!” – so I did.

The most admirable part of being a TechGirl is the endless support we receive from our peers, mentors, and staff. Due to the global pandemic for two years (2020 and 2021, I was honored to be a part of the TechGirls community. A learning and supportive environment perfectly accomplishes its goal – engaging more young women into STEAM fields.  It does not only focus on academic improvements but also focuses on personal characteristics: leadership, open-mindedness, empathy. The program is an endless source of inspiration. My most beloved memory was to meet with NASA representatives. Their stories and advice filled our hearts with hope and confidence. I always was interested in physics, cosmology, astronomy, but I never dreamed about relating my future somehow with NASA, it seemed overly ambitious. Now, I am not afraid to dream, TechGirls brought me confidence. I believe with peer support and my sincere interest I can make it in the long-run. I just have to “Keep Going!”

TechGirls taught me the importance of diversity, having 100+ people online from all across the world was an incredible experience that made our discussions even more informative. After the program, I realized how diversity was important to my development, and therefore, I started applying to more international programs. This summer, I became a part of the FLEX community (it is a highly competitive, merit-based scholarship program funded by the U.S. Department of State). Currently, I am finishing my senior year of school studying in the United States through that scholarship. I am extremely happy about this decision because there’s not a day in my life where I don’t have the opportunity to learn something new or see something I have never seen. This environment fuels my curiosity and adventuristic needs. 

I am currently ready to rise to the new challenge and work on my community project “Co-Engineer.” The goal is to engage more youth into majoring in Engineering and help them get started. The target group is Central Asian countries, however, the program is being promoted and seeks help and volunteers from all over the world. 

When the TechGirls’ intensive summer program came to the end, every one of us was pretty upset. There was a phrase from our course mentor that made us feel better: “This ending is only the beginning of something new,” and she was right. The main parts to remember: travel, have fun, ask questions, take new challenges, embrace your potential, and “Keep Going!”. 

Takhmina Techgirl in front of a stone wall
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