Brighter Future Walk, official press release

Adults & Students Hand-In-Hand to Strengthen Science & Technology Education: IGNITE™ Sponsors “Women and Girls Walking Together for a Brighter Future” Fundraising and Scholarship Event

Seattle, WA / May 13, 2011 — For over a decade, Seattle-based international educational nonprofit IGNITE™ Worldwide (Inspiring Girls Now In Technology Evolution) has provided over 20,000 young women with the opportunity and encouragement to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers. In 2011, IGNITE is kicking off their first capital campaign to support the growing demand for their services with the first annual “Women and Girls Walking Together for a Brighter Future” event – a three-mile walk on the Nathan Hale High School campus in Seattle, WA. The event will take place on Sunday, June 5th from 1 – 4PM.

IGNITE is also proud to announce that as a result of generous corporate sponsorship, they will be offering a total of $4500 in scholarship money from Microsoft and a $500 scholarship sponsored by Dreamclinic Massage at the conclusion of the event. Scholarships will be randomly awarded amongst the students who participate in the walking portion of the Brighter Future walk.

All current students are openly invited to join IGNITE for this inspiring event by participating in the walk or volunteering to support the event. In addition, IGNITE is seeking professional men and women who would be willing to walk alongside the girls for the cause. Community professionals are at the heart of IGNITE’s success formula – the organization brings professionals into schools to speak directly to girls about their STEM career experiences, dispelling stereotypes about these careers and removing perceived barriers that are often created by media and societal pressures on young women.

For adults who are unable to attend or to walk, there are still many opportunities to make a difference. IGNITE invites all adults passionate about advancing the cause of STEM education for young women to sponsor a walker or to make a general donation.

Despite the progress made in recent decades, female interest and engagement in most science and technology careers is dropping precipitously, especially in technology fields. While women now outnumber men in the workforce, only 22% of technology professionals are women, and in upper management those numbers drop to 8%. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of first-year undergraduate women choosing Computer Science as a major has dropped 79%. This worrisome trend leaves the U.S. unable to fill available tech positions with domestic talent, and prevents young women from sharing in the success of this growing industry.

IGNITE invites all community members to act as catalysts for positive change in educational systems across Seattle, the United States, and the globe by partnering with them for this important event.

Interested volunteers can contact cheryl@cherylplatz.com for more information.

EVENT DETAILS

“Women and Girls Walking Together For a Brighter Future” Walk

Date: Sunday, June 5th ; 1PM – 4PM

Location: Nathan Hale High School; 10750 30TH AVE NE, Seattle, WA 98125

ABOUT IGNITE™

IGNITE™ (Inspiring Girls Now In Technology Evolution) is a Seattle-based 501(c) nonprofit with over 10 years of success in inspiring the young women that will become a new generation of science and technology leaders. Since its beginnings within the Seattle School District and expansion across the country, IGNITE has impacted over 20,000 girls with its work – with thousands more affected each year. IGNITE’s curriculum and effective, low-cost approach to supplementing existing science and technology education has garnered frequent praise and awards, including the highest honors from the 2007 ACTE “Programs and Practices that Work” awards.

The IGNITE curriculum offers presentations from local professionals, mentorships, job shadows, field trips, guidance, and application support to member students. In recent years, IGNITE has expanded with an international focus, and recently established their first chapters in African schools, with interest in countries including Libya, Egypt, and England.

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