Dr. Susan Enfield
Highline Public Schools
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BRING IGNITE TO YOUR SCHOOLS?
Our promise in Highline is to know every student by name, strength and need and ensure they graduate prepared for the future they choose. We cannot deliver on this promise alone, which is why our partnership with IGNITE is so important. Young women and girls need increased access to STEM pathways as well as professional role models who reflect their backgrounds to mentor them. IGNITE provides that access by connecting Highline students to a network of phenomenal women who are leaders in STEM. IGNITE also provides an array of accessible, engaging, robust career-connected learning experiences both in-and-outside of the classroom.
WHAT IMPACT HAS IGNITE HAD ON YOUR FEMALE STUDENTS?
Our student surveys beautifully tell the story of IGNITE’s impact. We have had countless students report an increased interest in STEM careers and boost in self-confidence after participating in IGNITE events. In addition, students have referenced many quotes shared by IGNITE speakers that resonated with them and inspire them to realize and reach their full potential.
ARE THERE ONE OR TWO PARTICULAR STORIES YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT HOW IGNITE HAS AN IMPACT ON A PARTICULAR GIRL?
There are many, but here are a few that stand out:
- At Evergreen High School’s Women of Color in Technology Symposium, the panelists provided tangible step-by-step plans to show our young women how they can become professionals in STEM. One student shared she was struggling in math class and that she did not see herself “making it.” A panelist responded by highlighting the importance of believing in yourself, staying focused, always doing homework, asking teachers for help, and staying after school for additional support. This advice motivated the student to keep moving forward as well as realize her own self-worth and potential to succeed. Another panelist expressed how critical it is for women of color not to allow doors to be closed on them. She encouraged all of the student attendees to push back and to never settle for less than what they want in their professional lives. Every single student reported that she was inspired to do better in school after attending this event.
- More than 30 9th and 10th graders from Highline High School had the chance to attend IGNITE’s Microsoft tour. Before participating they were asked if they’d ever considered enrolling in an engineering or computer science class. Most students shared they had not planned on doing so and hadn’t given it much thought. After getting exclusive access to some of Microsoft’s most high-level projects and hearing from scientists and a panel of inspirational speakers, the sparks ignited! Students talked on the bus ride home about how excited they were for February when they get to enroll in classes. One student remarked, “I never thought I would be into engineering but I am definitely going to take that class now.”
HOW HAS IGNITE IMPACTED THE GIRLS IN GENERAL?
The impact is tremendous and priceless. IGNITE programming ensures that young women in Highline are aware of the many STEM career opportunities available to them. It connects students to a network of influential leaders who can mentor and support them through their college and career journeys. Thank you IGNITE!