The Televisa Foundation and the LULAC Institute, with the support of the Intel Foundation, selected four Santa Cruz County middle schools to participate in the Intel She Will Connect: TECHNOLOchicas LiFT Initiative. In partnership with Alfredo I. Velásquez and the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office, a grant was awarded to Desert Shadows, Wade Carpenter, Calabasas, and Coatimundi middle schools where each will each receive $15,000 to fund an after-school club for girls.
TECHNOLOchicas LiFT was developed to increase the number of girls in Hispanic communities pursuing technology-related studies by the time they reach high school. A curriculum designed to empower, excite, encourage, and engage girls in computer programming, coding, and robotics is being implemented by site facilitators and assistants on each campus twice a week from January 2018 – April 2018. Funds are being used for classroom supplies, robotic kits, refreshments, travel for field trips, parent engagement, and sustaining the program in the years to come. Enrollment is set for 25 girls per school, and an application process was followed for acceptance in to the program.
Aside from weekly meetings, club members were invited to a state-wide event held at the University of Arizona on March 2, 2018. Girls were given the opportunity to network with other middle schools and the official Technolochicas panel of females in technology fields. This was a chance for Santa Cruz County students to ask questions and share ideas with role models who work for NASA, Microsoft, Qualcom, Pinterest, and many other corporations. This panel shared their stories of success and how being well-rounded students was so important. Being bilingual, self-confident, hard-working, and creative were also discussed as positive attributes when it comes to pursuing a career in technology. The event was highlighted by workshops dedicated to building teamwork, critical thinking skills, and communication all centered around topics related to engineering, coding, and other types of technology.
TECHNOLOchicas LiFT is a grant program overseen by Maya Donnelly, Program Director at the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 397-7947.