Sydney Cochran
College & Career Access Specialist
Highline High School

 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO LEAD IGNITE AT YOUR SCHOOL?  

Our young women, especially our young women of color, need to be exposed to what their future could look like. IGNITE offers meaningful career trips for our young women to attend.  They are thoughtfully planned and always well executed.  I know from experience that it takes more time to prepare career partners for working with teenagers than it takes me to prepare teenagers to go on these trips.  I really appreciate IGNITE being the middle– bridging the gap between industry and education.  If companies want to recruit diverse talent, they need to start young.  This is something IGNITE gets.  

 

WHAT IMPACT HAS IGNITE HAD ON YOUR FEMALE STUDENTS?

Earlier this year we took a group of young women to Microsoft to learn about hardware.  For the first time in three years, and after having planned over 40 field trips, I had every student show up for this trip.  The wait list was so long that I could have brought two buses full of young women. The reputation these trips have with students at Highline runs deep.  These trips are fun!  They are interactive, educational and inspire our students to do better in school.

 

ARE THERE ANY MEMORABLE STORIES ABOUT HOW IGNITE HAS HAD AN IMPACT ON A PARTICULAR GIRL?

For some reason the word ‘STEM’ scares a lot of students away without them knowing anything about it. IGNITE trips and guest speakers change this.  These trips offer students a chance to see what they CAN do and what their future CAN look like.  Students often don’t know what their options are so seeing these opportunities in a real-world setting, with role models that look like them helps them invasion their future.
Student quotes:

I am more interested in the STEM field because the things and the people do seem really cool”

“The panel during and after lunch made me feel not alone in being a girl in a male dominated career.  It also inspired me and made me feel like I can do anything I want”

“This event inspired me to try different things and always try to do my very best”

“The women gave stories of how they got where they are and they all come from different backgrounds. It was motivating.”