How to Volunteer with IGNITE:
1. Make sure you are subscribed to our volunteer mailing list. This is how you will learn about volunteer opportunities!
2. Click here to sign up for our 20 minute volunteer training call and read through our volunteer training materials (below).
3. View and register for open volunteer opportunities near you!
Can't attend a training call? Listen to a pre-recorded version of IGNITE's volunteer training.
IGNITE Volunteer Training Materials:
What is a Panel?
- 90 minutes with a group of students, usually over lunchtime
- Women speak 5-7 minutes each, sharing their story
- 45-60 minute Q&A with students- this is such an awesome part!
The most powerful part of any IGNITE event is the time that our volunteers get to share their story with our students. Whether it's a programming workshop, a company tour, or IGNITE Panel Presentation at the schools, the time for the self-identifying girls and non-binary students to interact with you is an invaluable experience. The reason we have such low statistics for women in STEM is because there are barriers of perception about these career choices. Self-identifying girls and non-binary students often think to themselves that they aren't smart enough, their grades aren't good enough, or that their home life isn't the ‘right’ kind for these jobs. Telling your story about the path you took to your STEM career will go a long way in inspiring them. You can make a difference.
Questions to form your story:
- Why do you want to be here today?
- Telling girls that you care and that you want them to know the opportunities that they have in high wage/high demand careers matters to you, and it makes it personal.
- What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are today?
- If you are willing to be open and vulnerable, it helps the girls because they all have obstacles in their lives. Hearing how you overcame them and did not let them stop you, is powerful. Share your real story! The girls will be able to relate to someone, and someone's struggles, to show them that we all must overcome some obstacle in our lives to get where we want to go.
- It is nice to start your story at the age of the girls. What did you like to do as a girl when you were age 13-18?
- How did you find your interest in technology or engineering?
- What type of education choices did you make to lead you to your career, if any?
- Why would you suggest girls take computer science or engineering classes at their school? Do they know what classes are available? Do they know why this is a great opportunity to sign up for these classes?
- Please tell the girls why this is a great opportunity and sign up! (It matters that they hear this from you).
- What is your career and what do you like about your career now?
- Why would you encourage this career choice for women?
- Young women care about getting involved in careers that help people, how can we connect that idea for girls. How does your career help people and how do STEM fields help people in general?
How much can I share?
- For Middle Schoolers: focus on the immediate future and encourage taking more STEM courses in High School
- For High Schoolers: share anything that you think is important
It’s important that we make an impression now that will stay with them as they continue to make choices in education and future careers. We all tell kids to follow their passions but girls often do not yet know if STEM careers could be their passion because they only either have negative views or no experience with these career choices at all. It is urgent that we take this time so they may understand what is available to them in STEM careers, that there is a career for every interest, and from there they can have the choice to find their passion in STEM.
Thank you for participating in this life changing program and for volunteering with IGNITE. Over the year’s people like you have changed many girls’ lives by hearing the stories and experiences that made the women of this world who they are today.
Tips: Bring something visual or tactile to help the girls understand what you do everyday – a prototype or pictures of your product or team or work environment helps them understand how you work.
Match Your Hours:
Please log your volunteer hours with your company! Many companies will match your hours and this does a great deal in helping IGNITE grow. See if your company matches and use the forms listed to submit your hours.
View and Register for IGNITE Volunteer Opportunities
- Make sure you are subscribed to our volunteer mailing list. This is how you will learn about volunteer opportunities!
- View IGNITE’s speaking opportunities in your area, and register for a Panel that you’d like to speak on.
- Before you speak on the Panel, make sure you sign up for our 20 minute volunteer training call and read through our volunteer training materials.
- Once you are registered for a Panel or event, the IGNITE teacher or coordinator will email you a few weeks before the event with important information about the day of, such as where to park and check in.
- All you need to do then is show up and be ready to share your story to inspire girls in STEM!
If you have any questions about volunteering with IGNITE, please email our Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
- View IGNITE’s volunteer opportunities in Washington or California.
- Once you find an event you would like to attend to speak at, choose that event and click the green ‘Register’ button. This will take you to a registration form.
- Submit your registration, and our Program Manager will confirm your speaking opportunity with you.
Most IGNITE Panels are held at different middle and high schools around the Greater Seattle Area and the Bay Area in California. IGNITE Panels can also be held at conferences or STEM events for girls.
Feel free to wear whatever you normally would. We want girls to see that all types of women work in STEM careers.
It’s great that you are successful despite following a nontraditional path, however it is increasingly more competitive and difficult to do this (and to move around once you have a career). If you were a teenager today, what would you tell yourself about taking STEM classes and preparing for your future? Even a 2-year STEM degree could make a difference in creating an attainable future in STEM.
Having visuals of any kind can be really helpful! If you have slides you would like to include, we welcome them. Please indicate that you would like to include a presentation so the classroom is prepared. You’ll have 3-7 minutes to share your story, so be thoughtful about what you’d like to help illustrate your journey.
You can! Just email email@example.com and she’ll introduce you to each other.