Monday, December 17, 2012

Girls in Tech Los Angeles STEM Workshop

Students & Girls in Tech LA volunteers - Valor Academy
The Girls in Tech Los Angeles volunteers spirits were not dampened on this rainy day in Arleta, CA (December 1st, 2012) as they arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed to teach & mentor 95 girls in STEM workshops.  The workshops are put on by the Girl Scouts of Los Angeles and the volunteers staffed from the members of Girls in Tech Los Angeles chapter.  With curriculum developed by AT&T we were set up for another successful event.  

The morning started off with a motivational speech by Veronica Garcia who grew up in Arleta,  and is now a rocket scientist with the space shuttle program at Pratt & Whitney.  Veronica went to MIT after being encouraged by a speaker when she was in high school.  Her story was compelling and revved all of us up for the day.  We ran four workshops - technical product development that included an investor pitch, electrical engineering (hands on circuit design), bio engineering with some actual DNA (not human!), and environmental engineering which involved an oil spill clean up.  I was in the Computer Science/Product development workshop where over the course of the day I was constantly amazed at innovation shown by these girls.  The ideas they came up with were amazing and I'm sure I was looking at more than a few entrepreneurs there.  

During our break for our yummy lunch that was donated by El Pollo Loco the volunteers had a chance to mingle and chat one on one with the girls.  I'm not sure who was inspired more, the girls or the volunteers.  I know I was inspired by Kim Vawter and Valor Academy's approach to motivating their students to attend college.  More on that in another blog.

As we all look forward to 2013 - remember - there is nothing more satisfying than giving back.  Join Girls in Tech today and get involved.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Community Builders Award

Last night was our company holiday party and I was surprised with the Webcor Community Builders award.    This is presented to the individual in the company that for that year exhibits outstanding and ongoing commitment to charitable and community service efforts.  It was nice to be recognized for what I do but I was a little uncomfortable with it.  I do the things I do because I enjoy helping people not to be recognized.  It feels good to help others and I guess once in a while it can feel good to have someone notice what you do.  So, thank you Webcor and my peers who nominated me for the recognition.  Here's a couple pictures of a few events I did this year. 
Me and Michelle @ Habitat for Humanity Build

Mark Turner Senior VP presenting award