Thanks to a partnership with Intel, middle school girls from across the Valley of the Sun are able to participate in the TEC is for Girls!!! Program at Phoenix College. The Program is designed to introduce young American Indian, Black and Hispanic girls to technology, engineering and computer science (TEC) careers in fun and interactive ways.
Empowering Future Generations of Girls
Guided by the mission of increasing the number of under-represented females in technology and science fields, the TEC is for Girls!!! Program provides a supportive environment for young women to participate in hands-on experiences, explore technological careers, and receive encouragement to attend college.
Many young, minority girls and their parents are unaware of the opportunities available in TEC fields. Many do not even recognize these careers as options since, all too often, there is a perception that TEC professions are not considered “traditional careers” for minorities or women, as reflected by the low number of minorities and women majoring in technical fields in college.
A Program with Impact
While most outreach activities deliver one-day programming, the TEC is for Girls!!! Program includes multiple interactions with the students and the schools, which Biosciences faculty Anil Kapoor says is critical to making a real connection and helping ensure the program has impact.
The TEC is for Girls!!! Program is funded by a grant from the Intel Corporation. Intel Deputy Director of US Corporate Affairs Gabriela Gonzalez spoke with the girls at the Program kick-off, telling them that she never considered pursuing a career in technology until she was given a unique opportunity.
“I am an engineer by fate rather than by design.” - Gabriela Gonzalez
Gabriela immigrated from Mexico with her mother and four siblings. Her family could not afford to send her to college, but fortunately, a church leader cared enough to introduce her to a university administrator who offered her a scholarship if she declared engineering as her major. Gabriela says she didn’t even know what engineering was but it was her one and only chance to go to college, so she took it. In retrospect, she says it was the best decision she could have made.
TEC Program Follow Up
Following the high-impact events at the Phoenix College campus, Anil Kapoor and other PC faculty and staff, TEC professionals, and Intel volunteers visit the girls’ schools to help form TEC clubs and to engage and inform parents about college access, affordability, and TEC careers.
The Program targets middle school girls because college and career choices are impacted by the science, technology and mathematics courses students take in school. Studies suggest that students make career choices as early as middle school.
Why This is So Important
Intel is investing in closing the gender gap in TEC fields by empowering more girls to pursue careers in technology, engineering and computer science, connecting them to economic and social opportunities and inspiring them to become future innovators.
The TEC is for Girls!!! Program aims to help girls envision themselves as technology professionals. Hopefully, Daisy, Alejandra, Judith and the other program participants will look back one day and affirm that majoring in a technology, engineering or computer science was one of the best decisions they ever made.
If you would like to learn more about the TEC is for Girls!!! Program, please call 602-285-7667.