We had a fabulous day yesterday at Microsoft!
There were 40 fantastic young women who attended this event. They were a fabulous group of girls and extremely appreciative of this experience. On these particular trips we visit the Home of the Future, which features possible future technology that would be in a typical home 5-10 years in the future. We also get a tour of the Envisioning Center which features the business side of Microsoft and girls get to try new technology as a part of the experience.
Then we meet with women who work at Microsoft for lunch. Microsoft provides a spectacular lunch for the girls and we spend 90 minutes first listening to the women’s stories and girls come prepared with questions about what they are hoping to learn from these admired role models. The discussion is always such a dynamic part of the day, because the women and girls really get to interact and talk in real ways about how the girls can best approach how to make their career dreams come true. It’s really a very special experience and I wish everyone reading this can at some point see for yourself what really takes place at an IGNITE event.
Girls lives are changed forever. They can see themselves creating a life that they really want and that it possible because the women who were just like them show and tell them how. The girls leave inspired. Each and every time.
I would like to thank the generous volunteers who made this day possible. First, Brooke Schnyder who funds our events for us and also works so hard behind the scenes staffing these events and coordinating everything we do at Microsoft.
Thank you to Claire O’Donnell who volunteers for our field trips and makes sure everything is perfect for us each time.
Thank you to our tour guides for the Home and Envisioning Center. I want to thank Jackie Guiliano who was the tour lead for the Home and Tiffany Dedeaux who lead us through the Envisioning Center.
They both create such an uplifting atmosphere. They are highly sensitive to their audience, carefully paying attention to the girls questions. Their responses help the girls see their own brilliance because Tiffany and Jackie really care that they learn and feel a part of the experience. They are both extremely effective with the girls and we are very fortunate to have them as our tour guides.
Thank you to the women who volunteer their time at the lunchtime IGNITE Presentation event. Yesterday’s event was wonderful! When the women told their stories you could hear a pin drop. The girls loved every minute of it. Each women has a story a girl would relate to. It was a diverse panel and truly inspirational. Then the girls got to ask questions. They were given an assignment before they came to think about the kinds of things they wanted to learn so when it comes time to ask questions, the girls are prepared. And it showed. The girls asked some of the best questions I have heard. And that leads us to a frank and connective session between girls and women talking about girls real concerns, worries and needs. The women were highly sensitive to helping the girls feel like they were all okay, meaning that it’s a journey of discovery. Girls feel so much pressure from parents, teachers, peers, to know what it is that they want to do. How many of us knew that in high school? So we are able to reassure them while at the same time inspiring them to explore technology and related careers from women who love what they do. It’s nothing short of life changing for girls to experience this. Thank you to Anya Vigdorchik, Kristina Ashment, Arlicia (Ac) McNamant, Carey Serfontain, and Shiun-Zu Kuo, for all you did for the girls yesterday.
And last but not least, the teacher DeAira Handugan. DeAira has signed up for more IGNITE events than any teacher so far in our IGNITE history. So the girls at Sealth will get to experience all of the great opportunities that IGNITE has to offer. She says the word is getting out at Sealth about IGNITE and she no longer has to advertise for sign ups. Thank you DeAira, you are truly a role model teacher and we are so fortunate to have you.
Now to share from the girls evaluation forms what they said about the day.
- Everything was great! Tour, Panel, and food. I especially liked the panelists today. I would like to job shadow them. I learned about all different kinds of IT careers.
- Today’s event showed me that it’s okay to not know what you want to do but that its important to be open to trying new things. I loved the Home of the Future tour.
- The Envisioning Lab was great. WE got to watch a video on what technology will look like in 5-10 years. But my favorite part was whack-a-mole on the surface board. I also learned at lunchtime that if you are not interested in technology now but willing to learn, you can still make it a career choice, and feel passionate about your job. grade 10
- I enjoyed the House of the Future. I learned that being undecided of what you want to do is okay! It is so encouraging! grade 10
- I really loved hearing women’s stories. It was inspiring.
- I loved the Home of the Future tour. I liked how they really considered everything and made things convenient to all different types of people. And I learned from the women at the lunch time panel that we can change our careers as we learn and grow more as people. I loved the women’s stories, it was very inspirational.
- Getting a tour of the House of the Future was amazing and fun. I couldn’t stop thinking of things after it. The most interesting thing was that some of the technology could be available in 5 to 10 years, Also some of the different fields within Microsoft I could be looking at job wise.
- I loved seeing the future house. The most interesting part was hearing the women’s stories. I enjoyed that a lot. And learning how they got their jobs. grade 11
- I liked that we got to use some of the technology in the Envisioning Center. Tiffany taught me its important to learn how I work, so I know what kind of environment works for me. I learned from the experts how they got to where they are today. The most interesting thing I heard today was the women who studied Anthropology. I was surprised that it could also be helpful in technology. grade 9
- I liked that I was able to interact with technology in the Envisioning Lab. My favorite part was the whack-a-mole game 🙂
- The most interesting thing I heard was that you don’t have to start out in IT but could choose anything and incorporate into your knowledge.
- I liked how I got a chance/opportunity to see what my future home would look like. It gave me a chance to see how advanced our society is growing in technology. I really learned how many career opportunities that Microsoft has to offer. Also all of the career changes people made to end up working for Microsoft.
- The Home tour was amazing, and so was the food! I loved how the day went. The Smart house and the information explained to me was inspiring. A lot of technology that we saw today will be cheaper in a couple of years, grade 11
- I liked seeing the House of the Future. I don’t know which word describes it more, exciting or fascinating. Also the food was great. The speakers were very informative. I learned a lot more about the various career choices at Microsoft and in technology.
- I loved the Home Tour! It was an amazing experience. It was so interesting to think that the technology could be common in 5 to 10 years. The women at the lunch time event were great. They really shared a lot and I felt inspired by them
- I loved learning about all of the opportunities that there are at Microsoft. And in life. It was inspiring to me. The technology in the Home Tour was amazing.
- I liked the Home of the Future. It was so amazing to be one of the few who get to see it outside of Microsoft. Its exciting to see what might be possible in the future. I really liked hearing the women’s stories. It made me think about what is possible.
- I learned about the APEX program, That when I graduate college I can try all of the different careers I am interested in and all of the different branches of Microsoft. The Envisioning Tour was great! grade 10
- I loved the advice the women had for us. And the discussion with the women was best. I loved seeing the different video’s at the Envisioning Lab. And I learned about jobs at Microsoft. grade 9
- The most important thing I learned today was that ” Life is a journey, not a destination” Also at this age, you still won’t really know what you would be doing in the future. I loved the Home of the Future, and getting to know and understand the technology. grade 11
- I loved hearing the women’s life story, and how they got here. That was really important to me. And I really loved the Envisioning Center and the lady who gave us the tour. All of the great women who came to talk to us. It was all great. grade 9
- I liked the way all of the women talked about their jobs, It really had me thinking. That people go through a lot of obstacles to have a good career or job. It taught me a lot. grade 9
- The best part was hearing the experiences everybody went through to get to this spot. How our generation is very lucky to use all of this new technology that is being created. grade 9
- I really enjoyed the tour that we went on. The interactions that was available was really great and actually drew me in. I think the envisioning center tour was so interesting. I learned a lot. thank you ,
- I loved how interactive the day was and I got to learn so many new things, The most interesting thing was hearing about the women’s stories. grade 11
- I loved the creative ideas about the smart house, The most interesting thing probably would be all of the technology I got to see. Meeting the hearing the women was great too. all good, grade 12
- I loved visiting the smart house. I learned that there are a lot of career choices at Microsoft. Even if you don’t know a lot of technical things, you can still work at Microsoft. There are many aspects to the company. grade 11
- I liked the house and how technology will transform in the future. I learned a lot about all of the different kinds of jobs at Microsoft. It changed my perspective of what is possible.
- I really liked seeing the house and how technology can advance. That even when you go to college you might not yet know what you want to do. I thought I was supposed to know exactly what I wanted to do even before I go to college.
- Now I know I can explore even at college.
- I learned about all different ways to get involved in a technology career. I really am interested in the APEX program. grade 1o
- Going into the Home of the Future and listening to all of the women’s stories was the best part. grade 10
All the comments were so positive. That is a reflection on what kind of event we do, uplifting, encouraging and inspiring.
Thank you all for making this day possible.