In 2014, I started working at Techbridge Girls as a Program Coordinator. In this role, I worked directly with girls while running an after-school program to inspire and empower girls to see their potential through STEM, after-school programs, mentorship, and field trips. After about two and a half years, I got promoted to Professional Development Program Manager, and I started training teachers on how to run the programs, which are now the Inspire programs for elementary school girls.
Now I lead the Tacoma STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) Network, and my role is very complex. Our network is made up of multiple sectors, including K-12 schools, businesses, higher education institution, and nonprofits. We all have the same goal of wanting to increase opportunities in STEAM for students, but I have to make sure that we’re moving in the right direction collectively, and that we’re coming up with the right strategy. I would love to see more girls of color going into both traditional and non-traditional STEM fields and thriving. Our girls are so passionate about multiple things, and if we can just encourage them to explore those passions, it will help them to be great leaders one day.
In my own life, I lead fearlessly by being able to lead this STEM network and make decisions while knowing I don’t have all the answers. Leading fearlessly means having faith and trusting that I am leading in the right direction and making strides toward my goals. I always knew what I wanted to do professionally, but Techbridge Girls lit this real passion in me to show girls of color that they are able to enter STEM fields and thrive. Working with the girls during my first two years at Techbridge, and then being able to step back and make a difference, really showed me that I was a true leader and a true influencer, and I think I wouldn’t have known that about myself had I not worked for Techbridge Girls.