Another great year for GLITTER! An amazing and inspiring event!
On October 26, IGNITE girls from eight schools came out for the GLITTER conference, a collaboration between IGNITE and Seattle Central Community College, where the event was held. We had a great turnout and an exciting event, which would not have been possible without the efforts and dedication of the conference planners and volunteers.
To start, Lisa Sandoval deserves big praise for planning the whole event!
Lisa is the Head of Seattle Central’s IT Department. Every year, Lisa puts on a smooth, educational and exciting GLITTER conference, and makes sure IGNITE girls have an incredible experience learning about technology fields. Lisa put together information packets, got great raffle prizes for girls, had breakfast waiting and a great pizza lunch, and planned workshops for girls to learn about the opportunities in technology available to them both now and in the future. Lisa is such a pro, and is changing the lives of girls with her hard work year after year. We are in awe of her event planning skills, and feel so lucky to have her as an IGNITE partner!
The event’s success is also owed to Maria Sanders, who put together the posters for GLITTER, which turned out beautifully. Maria also made sure the posters got to schools, which helped greatly with our large turnout. Thanks, Maria!
High School teachers and staff worked so hard to organize their students, collect field trip forms, communicate with parents and IGNITE to make the day run smoothly. Thank you to Michael Braun and Dalisha Phillips from Rainier Beach, Rebecca Horst and DeAira Handugan from Sealth, Julie Chapman from Ballard, Julie O’Brien from Franklin, Steve Codling from Ingraham, Bonnie Tidwell from Middle College, Janet Higgins from Nathan Hale, and Michelle Green from South Lake. And of course to all other teachers helping behind the scenes to recruit girls and prepare for the event- we say thanks!
We had a number of great workshops. Annika Mertz spoke to the students about the Tech Prep program, which many students had never heard of before. Gina Nakamura is the Outreach Coordinator for Seattle Central Community College and she helped the girls learn what it means to apply for college and get financial aid. Teressa McCulloch, Monica Black, and Lydia King led a workshop on their experiences getting computer education and working in the industry, and Ed Messerly did a workshop on the future on computing. Thank you all for your work and inspiration!
Cathi led a great workshop on IGNITE. Happily, there was a great mix of students in each workshop- some girls who had done IGNITE before, and some girls for whom it is totally new. The students familiar with IGNITE were able to add a lot, sharing their experiences with IGNITE, what they have learned and what it means to them and their futures. Cathi told the girls about all the IGNITE activities at their disposal, and how to become involved through, for example, School Presentations, and their chapter teachers.
Another highlight was the amazing panel presentation during lunch, which featured women in Engineering and Technology fields. Enormous thank you to Lilia Gutnik, Senior Program Manager at Socrata, Martine Stillman, Mechanical Engineer with Synapse, Juzen Ruelos, Senior Manager at Microsoft, Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack and Liz Dahlstrom, Co-Founders of LadyCoders. The women did a fabulous job speaking to the benefits of their careers and the paths that led them there, before taking a series of thoughtful questions from the girls. We talked about what a start-up is, for example, and that there are lots of ways to learn technical skills, including but not limited to taking classes. As an extra treat, Lisa got her hands on some great raffle prizes, including Visa gift cards, hand-made purses and Starbucks cards. Getting free prizes was a great way to end a day of inspiration and learning!
Below are comments from the girls’ evaluation forms:
- I enjoyed the Nordstrom workshop and the part about hacking security.
- I liked that we got folders with information about the conference and prizes. The people that are doing the conference are nice.
- This was good because it is helpful for our futures.
- I loved speakers about Engineering, because I am interested in Engineering.
- I learned a lot about college and also about technology.
- I loved hearing about the presenters experiences they had in the past.
- I think the speakers really inspired a lot of people with their stories. It was interesting to hear what they’ve been through before they made their decisions.
- I liked hearing how you don’t have to be good at math to have a job that lets you have a free lifestyle.
- It was really interesting to hear how everyone got interested in IT.
- I liked hearing their energy and how they were excited to be here. They seem to be of many different origins.
- I learned about how to fill out scholarships, about the FASH Program, and about computers and technology.
- I liked hearing that you don’t need to master technology to be in the field of technology.
- I really liked the speakers because it was great to hear personal stories. I also enjoyed the video about Nordstrom’s because I didn’t know they had that area.
- The speakers were interesting, the pizza was good and the videos were entertaining!
- I liked listening to the speakers after lunch, and the video that Ed showed about Zola.
- We got to talk and listen to the professors about IT and Computer Science.
- Some highlights were hearing the inspirational stories of women, about how they got to where they are now. Also, I found the workshop interesting where one of the Seattle Central teachers lectured about how easy it is to hack into technology.
- I like at lunch when the women talked about how they got their jobs.
- I like the video in Ed’s class, the speeches, and lunch.
- I really like the presentations during lunch, where all the ladies talked about how they started up to be successful and like their jobs.
- I really enjoyed Ed’s workshop (network engineering). I found it really interesting and he was funny.
- I really like the video of the future.
- The food was great (haha) and I liked the workshops and the people who presented.
- Many of the stories included how someone told the speakers “you can’t do such and such” but the speakers proved them wrong.
- Really good, interesting, different backgrounds, different occupations and career paths.
- The pizza, the guy that talked to us about the future and how women are naturally smarter than men.
- The lunch with the women of technology was awesome and Ed when he showed us the Windows video and how women are better than men. That made me happy.
- I love how they all have some trouble before they have jobs they enjoy.
- Listening to the women during lunch was really the best- passionate, informed, engaging.
- I liked that everyone had stories we could relate to. And the man that talked about how important women are to programming.
- Everyone had really interesting backgrounds.
- The speakers are awesome! I hope to be something like them in the future.
- I liked learning a lot about jobs and opportunities, getting a pen ☺ and learning about industry.
- I enjoyed learning that you don’t need to be good at math for engineering and how women are better at computers than men.
- I liked having a chance to hear what people have done and how they got where they are.
- I enjoyed learning about all the jobs that are out there.
- There was great information I learned today that I think can help me with my future. The types of technology that I can major in that are very interesting.
- I thought the speakers had great stories and their work seemed fun so it wasn’t work for them.
- I liked hearing about everyone’s background. It really stuck out to me. The speakers were energetic and funny.
- Lilia was great- very funny and relatable.
- Listening to how the people in the panel got to where they are today.
- I liked the Microsoft concept of 2019. It was cool to hear about the different ways of hacking.
- There are many jobs in technology, not only computers!
- I liked the emphasis from the speakers about how they sucked at math.
- I liked the Microsoft concept of 2012, Nordstrom tech and IGNITE. I liked all the workshops and how you can learn so many things in different ways about technology.
- I learned about IT in companies like Nordstrom, and how programming is important.
- Everything was inspiring to me!
- I liked when they talked about scholarships, the computer hacker guy, the Nordstrom video, the speakers, prizes and food.
- The speakers had good confidence, stories and varying backgrounds.
- I enjoyed learning about the different fields in the technology industry.
- We got to hear about different careers in technology that women have.
- I thought the stories were very inspiring and made me think about what I want to do.
- The highlights of this conference were meeting different women from different companies, and hearing their stories to where they are right now.
- Hearing the stories of the people who had mechanical engineering jobs.
- I like hearing about C++ and different jobs.
- I liked that the conference is mainly career-option based. I really enjoyed learning about al the different paths I can take when I go into technology.