Growing up in Houston, Josetta spent her summers attending science and engineering programs, and ultimately studied chemical engineering at Northwestern University before attending law school. Since 2003, she has helped our girls make STEM connections to her background in patent, trademark, and copyright law by serving as a role model in our programs and ensuring that our girls can see themselves in related careers. Josetta has furthered her volunteerism and deep engagement with Techbridge Girls by offering support and strategic advice as a member of the Regional Advisory Council in California, as well as through her membership in the Chevron Executive Women’s Group.
In an interview with Techbridge Girls, Josetta spoke to us about how she draws strength from the women who came before her, and calls on girls of today to honor their ancestors’ dreams by demonstrating compassion in pursuing better lives for themselves and their communities. “We’re at 100 years of the suffrage movement. My grandmother, who was a black woman first of all — when she was born in 1910 or 1911, she couldn’t vote. Women couldn’t vote. Being a black woman, she didn’t have the same career opportunities. But she realized, as a woman, what to do. And I think a lot of that is just so inspirational, that they had the vision that they wanted something better for their offspring and for the generations to come. There are a lot of women out there who have achieved a lot. But I think sometimes we have to get back to the basics of what our ancestors wanted for us. And I’m always inspired now, especially when I see black college women, and what they’re doing now and what they are embracing.”
For Josetta, compassion is a critical component of volunteerism as well. Reflecting on her volunteering experiences with Techbridge Girls, Josetta shared that “one of the most humbling experiences is to speak before middle school girls, because they may feel like ‘I don’t want to be here,’ but you just have to show that you’re in it with them, that you’re there to support them. You really have to model that behavior of compassion to show that you understand what they’re going through. And maybe sometimes you offer a piece of yourself, by telling a story about a hard time that you had, or how someone had been compassionate with you. You have to model it so that people understand how important it is.”
Josetta added that compassion is needed now more than ever: “Currently we’re in the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and despite the toll that it’s taking on the globe, we’re witnessing great leadership by so many men and women. Not just those who are in healthcare, but also those who are keeping the basics of the city, state, and country going. I think about the trash collectors, or the people driving the buses to take people to and from work, or delivering coffee, or nurses and the doctors who are on the front lines in the hospital. And they’re showing a lot of compassion. They know how infectious this disease is. But they’re out there, being compassionate about it, and they’re doing what they have to do to save the rest of the world.”
Josetta’s vision of fearless leadership is grounded in compassion and service, and rooted in a rich past that allows us to move boldly forward in “inspiring young girls and giving them hope, giving them opportunities to see women in the STEM fields, to see what companies are out there… to really let them know that they can lead fearlessly, and that there are no limitations.” Her leadership at Techbridge Girls — and beyond — demonstrates how powerful one’s impact can be when they offer their gifts and talents for the wellbeing of the collective. At Techbridge Girls, we are so grateful to be able to work with Josetta and the legion of fearless volunteers who have advanced us toward a more equitable world, one girl at a time.