IGNITE Panel Discussion: Chief Sealth High School


Hi All,

We had a wonderful event at Chief Sealth International High School!

The IGNITE Panel Presentation was amazing with wonderful women from many different companies and careers. We had around 70 girls attend, and the girls really enjoyed the IGNITE kick-off and enjoyed the pizza lunch as well.

Our panel of presenters were really compelling when talking about their jobs, how they got to where they are today, how they overcame obstacles, and so many valuable stories that really got the girls excited about Technology and Engineering careers.

I want to thank all of the people that made this event so special today.
First the wonderful women who were the IGNITE presenters included, Vazjier Rosario, Sr. Program Manager Microsoft, Martine Stillman, Mechanical Engineer, Synapse, Cristina Cionvica, Product Manager, Security Roots, Tara Steed, Problem Manager, Expedia, Rhonda Bell, Software Engineer, RedTech-Cos, and Audra Eng, Director of Development for IGNITE and 20 successful years in the tech industry. You were all just amazing to witIMG_2067ness. The girls were inspired and thrilled to get to hear all of your stories. Thank you so much for being here today and making a difference in the lives of girls.

Thank you to the wonderful IGNITE Teacher, John Wright, who teaches Computer Science and more at Chief Sealth. He is clearly an enthusiastic IGNITE teacher who puts in time and serious effort in making sure IIMG_2072GNITE is successful. We are working together to increase the female enrollment in tech classes at the school.

Thank you to the wonderful staff at Sealth who made us feel welcome and valued.
Principal Aida Fraser-Hammer was also so welcoming and appreciative that we do the program at Sealth. The Counselors, Support Staff, Assistant Principals, Teachers who invited me into their classrooms, all were involved in promoting and supporting the efforts of IGNITE.


Here are the comments from the girls survey forms. They always say it best.

I really enjoyed hearing the stories of the speakers and how they became what they are now. And by hearing this I felt like I can become whatever I want. My self-esteem somewhat increased and my joy for school and learning also increased. I’m glad I’m here today and that these special ladies took the time to speak to us.

It was great. Grade 10

This event inspired me to be a mechanical engineer. Grade 12

How each guest shared their experience and the struggles they had and through all of that they made it far in life and it inspired me and I want to be like that. Grade 11
IMG_2057Today I learned to never give up. I never thought I was able to go to university and get a good job because I had bad grades throughout 9th grade and 10th grade. But now I know that no matter what grades you have or if you’re struggling in math or science or reading or writing, always try your best and never doubt yourself. Grade 12
It was interesting to hear from someone who sounds like me. Also I liked hearing about different degrees that don’t take as long. Grade 12
I enjoyed listening to the stories and learning what they had to go through to get where they are now. I enjoyed listening to the advice the women gave as well. This event made me want to learn more about all of the different technology and engineering careers that are out there. I think this event was perfect. It was nicely organized and I learned a lot. Grade 9
I loved how they used their obstacles in life and showed us that if you are determined, then you can do anything. What really interested me was the complexity of technology. How technology is used in everything from a can of soda to designing popular products. It was great! Grade 11

One highlight for me today was hearing actual women who work in the engineering field give us advice and talk about their jobs. I really liked this event and feel that you should do this more often and at more schools. Grade 10
I was very interested in hearing the stories of the speakers and the difficulties that they faced in order to reach their goals. Grade 10
I loved hearing the stories that the speakers told us and hearing specifically what they do. I also liked learning the program that I could be a part of. Grade 10
Highlights for me were hearing the stories from each of them and how differently they all started off. I also really liked the idea of following an engineer around and seeing how their world is like. I found the questions really helpful. Grade 11

I really liked Martine and what she did, how she’s so inspiring with following her dreams even though others told her she couldn’t. I relate to that and enjoyed even though math wasn’t her strong suit she wooped some butt and now here she is! I also liked the last girl who’s tried everything and how it’ s okay to change your profession several times. I wish we had more time! Grade 11

It inspired me when one of the people said they weren’t great in school. I’m not terrible in school, but it made me more comfortable that I don’t have to be the smartest person in the world to do a job in this field. Grade 11

Listening to the women speak about what they did when they were my age was very interesting. Knowing that some of them didn’t even do anything with technology in high school, yet now is an engineer, was interesting. Knowing/learning the type of things I can do in high school to help me get jobs is beneficial for me to try out myself. Additionally, their descriptions made me interested in their specific jobs. I thought it was well organized/riveting. I don’t know what I would change. Grade 9

Highlights for me was learning more about the different fields of engineering and technology and also just knowing more of what it’s used for. I want to know more about these different fields. Grade 9

This event made me more interested in technology and engineering. It has also inspired me to think about being an engineer. I don’t know what field but I would like to learn more. Grade 11

I enjoyed hearing about the back stories of the women and how they got to the point they did when they started becoming interested in STEM careers, and obstacles and challenges they faced while trying to achieve their goals. I also really liked hearing about what there jobs require them to do and how they could change their jobs if they did not like it. I found it all interesting and how flexible their jobs are. This event was great! Grade 12

I enjoyed learning about the different types of tech work. I also enjoyed hearing stories about being able to make it no matter what. Grade 10
I loved the fact that we got to ask questions. Grade 10
I loved hearing that the women were not perfect in high school and yet they are in great paying jobs. Grade 10
Hearing everyone’s stories made me inspired to want to major in engineering/similar professions. Grade 10
I learned that you can achieve whatever you want in life. Don’t accept “no” for an answer, Never, and that there’s nothing that can hold you back from achieving this. Grade 10IMG_2074
What inspired me was hearing the women’s stories on how they got to where they are now, also letting know what they do now. I liked how you organized this event. Grade 10

This event made me very interested and really inspired me to go to college and major in engineering. Grade 10

I liked hearing about the many different jobs there are. Also, I’m not sure what I want to do when I grow up and some of these jobs got my attention. I think this event was good the way it was. Grade 9

The event was great. It was very inspiring. Grade 9

I think the stories of when the women were our age, related to us, and got me interested because they went through the same stuff we go through and in the end there is a good outcome with interesting jobs. Grade 12

I got really interested in knowing the different fields of technology and that there is many choices depending on what we’re interested in. Grade 12

I loved hearing everyone’s story and about how they became an engineer. Also I really liked the Q and A at the end. Grade 12

I got to know more things about the technology field, not just computer science or programming, but also can be related to other fields. Grade 11

I really felt inspired hearing about how the speakers started out in high school. I felt like I could relate and that I could definitely go for a job in a STEM field if I worked hard. Q and A was very insightful too. Grade 12

One highlight that inspired me was the stories about how they didn’t give up despite the challenges they faced. Another part I enjoyed was hearing about the options/choices that might help me in the future. Grade 12
This event inspired me to get into a career in this field because they have good pay and flexible life. Grade 12

It was very interesting. Got me super excited! I wish we had more time. Grade 12
I liked how family and hardship didn’t stop people from achieving their dreams. It’s interesting how high pay it is, while enjoying this job. I am interested in job shadowing. Grade 10

I liked how we were all welcomed and how we got to listen to all of their stories. Grade 9

I liked the guests that came and inspired. Grade 9

I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s stories. The event was amazing. Grade 12

I liked the fact that there was more than one thing. Grade 11

I really enjoyed learning how they got into the fields. Grade 12

I definitely got really inspired today, the different opportunities being shown, especially for the job shadowing. I would not change a thing. The way it was presented was great. Grade 12

I’m glad I attended this event, everytime I heard about engineering I thought of computers and now I don’t. I’m really interested in the fact that there’s not just one type of engineering. Mechanical Engineering- product design was what caught my attention. And I learned that there is more than one way to achieve a career like this. Grade 11

I learned that there are many different fields relating to technology, also, the different types of engineering. Grade 12

The game design part I am really interested in because I have been gaming since I was 5 and it’s always been my interest. Also Mechanical Engineering sounds really fun as well! Grade 10

That when they shared, they were able to share their story of how they were at our age and how they got there to inspire us and overcoming more struggles. Grade 10

I enjoyed when they talked about their past and explained how they overcame their obstacles. I also liked how they explained that there are different things that we can do. Grade 12

I learned more about the different opportunities. I thought about where a girl could put their purse in the car that really made me think about being an engineer. Everything was great, I wouldn’t change a thing. Grade 11

What inspired me was learning about what grabbed their interest and how they began their careers and how engineering works. Grade 11

I learned how there are a lot of women out there who do things and invent stuff and I want to invent cars with outlets to charge our phones. Grade 10

I liked hearing about the colleges and other trainings. Grade 9

I liked how the guests explained their backgrounds. I liked the one with pink hair. Grade 9

What I liked best was learning about lots of colleges, and job shadowing and lots of careers. Grade 12


Wow, the girls really do say it all!
Thank you all for making this day possible.

Read more about other Chief Sealth High School IGNITE events.