For the fourth year, I had the privilege of hosting TechGirls at AT&T’s DC office.
TechGirls is an international summer exchange program designed to empower and inspire young girls ages 15-17 from the Middle East and North Africa to pursue careers in science and technology. The program lasts 3 weeks and includes a technology camp, visits to technology companies, job shadowing, community projects and more. The TechGirls implement at least one peer-training program or service project when they return home based on what they’ve learned during their time in the U.S.
For this year’s Job Shadow Day, we welcomed two bright young women – Jana Bachar Abdel Jalil and Lina Edriss. Both are from Lebanon and both want to pursue a future in electrical engineering.
TechGirls is an international summer exchange program designed to empower and inspire young girls ages 15-17 from the Middle East and North Africa to pursue careers in science and technology.
First, we stopped by to join a lesson with the students participating in the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program here at our DC office. In total, AT&T is hosting 134 high school girls in six of our offices this summer for a 7-week program for rising 11th and 12th grade girls to learn coding and get exposure to tech jobs. In addition to honing their tech knowledge, bringing the TechGirls together with the Girls Who Code enabled the students to bond over their shared experiences as young women interested in technology and learn about a new culture.
Next up, we virtually headed to Houston for a chat with Nadia Morris, head of innovation at our new innovation center– the AT&T Foundry for Connected Health. This Foundry focuses solely on digital health innovations that can assist caregivers and medical professionals and provide patients with an improved quality of life. Nadia gave the girls a tour of our facility and showed them how connecting devices and people is improving health care and enabling people to “age in place.”
Later, we met with my colleague Ed Donahue in Redmond, Washington via AT&T Telepresence Solution®. Ed is a senior product marketing manager for device operations and developer services. One of her focuses is to encourage app developers to create new solutions. She runs some of our hackathons – events where developers race against the clock to create new mobile apps. Ed shared her passion for supporting innovation within the tech community and encouraged the students to continue to cultivate their respective developer communities back home.
We finished the day in Palo Alto. Alisha Seam, a product developer and solutions engineer at our AT&T Foundry, discussed how she is working to integrate virtual reality into her projects. An electrical engineer herself, Alisha was able to offer college and career advice to the aspiring students.
During the day, the girls also had the opportunity to visit with several women leaders based in our DC office and learn about our Citizenship & Sustainability efforts, how regulations affect technology, and our work to connect businesses around the globe.
I was grateful to spend the day with Jana and Lina. Even in my fourth year of working with the TechGirls, they continue to inspire me with their desire to learn. I’d like to thank the U.S. Department of State and Legacy International for inviting AT&T to take part in this important program that helps to empower these talented young women to be next-generation tech leaders.