November 6, 2014
This is a great beginning to an exciting IGNITE year.
A spectacular event occurred last week and everyone left happy and excited about the day.
I want to thank all of the people who made this special day possible.
First, a heartfelt thank you to the woman behind the scenes Aparna Vishawanathan, who has served as the IGNITE/Microsoft volunteer coordinator for the past 2 years.
She works tirelessly on making sure we have all of our volunteers for that date, conference rooms, food and any other details needed to make a successful event.
We can’t thank her enough for her time, attention to detail and continued commitment on behalf of the girls. Thank you Aparna for all you do.
A big thank you to the wonderful, incredible women who were IGNITE presenters that day. You all were so warm, caring and it showed how sincerely you wanted to connect with the girls and make it relevant. You shared personal stories, so the girls can see what struggles you had to over come, and we so appreciate how much you care. Being vulnerable to help girls relate to you, and understand you were once them, it makes all of the difference. And then hearing about the variety of career choices helped girls see where they might fit.
It was such an honor to be there that day and hear all of you.
Thank you to Malini Jagannadhan, Program Manager, Soumow Atitallah, Program Manager, Megan Olson, Global Capability Manager, Kylie Hurd, Program Manager, Robin Smith, Global Capability Manager, Rupi Suneshkumar, Program Manager, Smita Annareddy, Program Manager, Laura Riley, Sr. Program Manager, Issabelle Rice, Software Engineer, Brandi Arnold, User Experience Researcher.
Also a big thank you to the teachers who are the IGNITE leaders at the schools.
They work so hard to make these events happen, collecting forms, encouraging girls about these career fields and so much more.
Thank you to John Wright, Technology Teacher at Chief Sealth International High School, and a big thank you to Sue Higgins, Career Center Specialist at Center School, A small arts high school in the Seattle Center building. Sue has been leading IGNITE trips for many years and supporting IGNITE at the schools for all of the years we have been running. We thank her and appreciate all of her efforts on behalf of the girls!
Here are the girls comments from the survey forms we collect at the end of the field trip. The girls always say it best.
The living room at the tour and the stories the women told were the best parts. I learned that so many ladies are into computer science and that actually influenced me to be a computer scientist. Grade 9
I liked how these women faced obstacles and they overcame it. I was really inspired by these women. If you are passionate about technology you can be in the tech field. Grade 12
I liked everything about today. I liked that they gave us time to ask questions.
I thought it was interesting the discussion about math. Grade 10
I loved the Q and A panel, it was very informative. The most interesting thing I heard today was that there was not that much gender discrimination in the women’s lives. Grade 11
I really like hearing about where everyone has come from and what they liked in school. I like hearing about the different jobs they have. It was really interesting that some people did not know what career they wanted in high school. And how you can experiment with different career choices. It made me realize I can still get a tech job with out having to always want that job. It was very inspiring to me. Grade 9
I loved hearing all of the different perspectives. And I learned a lot about the different career choices in technology and engineering.
The panel was really great! Grade 12
I really enjoyed getting to see all of the different jobs that go into making games. Also the testing lab were very interesting to see. Hearing about all of the women’s backgrounds and how they got into their fields. It was amazing. Grade 10
The tour was very useful. The questions informed me more about these job fields. I loved hearing the women’s stories and it helped me understand a lot more about tech careers. Grade 9
Today I learned so much. My favorite thing today was the tour! Seeing all of the new technology was amazing!!! I also thought it was interesting to hear the women talk about their lives and telling us how they got to where they are now. Very inspiring!! Grade 9
I really enjoyed seeing the testing rooms and the discussion with the women. It was very informing hearing about how these women were first exposed to computer science and programming. I learned how I can get into computer programming and that there are many ways to go about it. Grade 12
I learned that we can do what we want to do, we can overcome it and even if its very hard. I learned a lot from the ladies. Grade 10
I appreciated that the women at Microsoft cared enough to spend time with us and share their stories. I learned how to get into technology and that I can do it. Grade 12
I enjoyed going into the home of the future. I liked learning of the way technology can change/develop in the future. I also liked more of the way the presenters get to where they are today and some of the challenges they face. I liked that women said I could be girly and geeky at the same time, also you can change your career and that is okay. Grade 12
I learned that I want to create video games and I loved hearing the women’s stories. Grade 10
I loved seeing the labs at Xbox. The things the women talked about were inspiring to me. Grade 12
I really enjoyed asking questions and where we all sat and talked. I learned that I do not have to pick my future job now, and can change my mind also. Grade 10
I liked that we go tot interview experienced women from Microsoft. Hearing their stories/obstacles really helped me understand a lot. I enjoyed the discussion about gender discrimination. Grade 9
I loved going to see the Xbox labs. Seeing what goes on behind the scenes was very exciting. The most interesting thing I heard today was that several people studied psychology and added technology with it, which is very interesting to me. Grade 9
The thing I liked best about today’s event was the tour of the Home of the Future. It was interactive. I also liked how the women at Microsoft told informational/stories about how they got here. I learned that everyone can find some kind of career in technology that would line up with their interests. It was very helpful. Now I know what classes to take. Grade 9
Thank you all for making this day possible.