Cleveland, Bethel, & Graham Kapowsin HS at Microsoft Xbox & Retail Center Tours



HI All,

We had such a great trip to Microsoft on March 24.

Forty young women attended this fabulous day. First the girls go on two different tours, Xbox research labs and the Microsoft Retail Center tour. Then Microsoft provides a great lunch and the women tell their story to the girls, and the girls get to ask questions.

The women really spend a lot of time answering the girl’s questions, and it turns into a fabulous discussion for everyone to connect and inspire.

As you can see from the girl’s comments below, they learned a lot and had a wonderful time.

There are so many people to thank for such a special day.

And at the end of this report are some comments from the girls suvery forms, so you can hear from them.


Thank you Aparna Vishawanathan and Christine Alexander. Both of these women do much behind the scenes to ensure everything is perfect! And it always is.

Thank you to our wonderful tour guides at Xbox and The Retail tour Jessie Thomas and Melissa Boone at Xbox and Esther Christoffersen at the retail center.

The girls talked about their tour experiences at lunch and were fascinated and so appreciative to get this kind of valuable look into technology in action.

Thank you to the amazing women on the IGNITE panel presentation today.

Thank you to the wonderful presenters who give of their time and passion to give a look into their personal stories and to inspire girls to consider these career choices. All of you were amazing and were able to provide sincere inspiration to the girls.

Thank you to Raelene Sanders, Service Engineer, Rupi Sureshkumar, Program Manager, Casey Schaertl, Software Engineer, Valerie Robb, Program Manager, Yiting-Zheng, Program Manager, and Teresa Lascala, Lab Steward. The panel is an inspirational experience where girls can hear that women overcame and made it to Microsoft and that they were just like them when they were younger. It is life changing for girls.


Thank you to the wonderful teachers who work so hard to provide these important experiences for girls. Thank you to Peter Henry, Computer Science teacher at Cleveland HS, Robin Hodges, Career Specialist Bethel School district, Kelly Woyak, Career Specialist, Bethel SD. And a special thank you to Doris Hominda, who coordinates these trips for Bethel schools and Coordinates IGNITE at the district.


Here are the comments from the girls survey forms.

They always say it best.

I really enjoyed seeing all of the technology that is used by stores. How they get your attention/ but using your interest. This event was very inspiring and helped me gain confidence in being a girl motivating me to be able to do anything no matter what gender dominates it. Grade 10


I enjoyed the xbox labs. This event inspired me to take more computer science classes. Everything was beyond perfect today! Grade 11


This event really inspired me today. I realized that now I have many opportunities that could get me into a tech job. You guys are good. Grade 10


Highlights for me were, food, the different stories of how they got to where they are today, all of the different kinds of jobs I learned about, and the diversity in the panel. Grade 11


Hearing people’s stories was inspiring and I found a new career interest, in tech. Grade 11


Seeing new technology and learning about technology that I did not know existed. Grade 11


I learned that there are many ways to achieve success. Hearing the stories and successes of the women and how they got here was really inspiring. Thank you so much! Grade 11


I learned a lot and was inspired because I now think I can be in computer science and work at a company in technology. Grade 10


I really liked the panel. It makes me want to go to the summer program Digigirlz.


I learned a lot about so many different career choices in tech. everyone had inspiring answer to questions on the panel. I loved it.

Grade 10


I enjoyed hearing what I need to do to pursue a field in computer science and engineering. or related field. Grade 11


This event has been very inspiring. The main tour was very interesting. I really liked all of the technology. I liked talking to the six women about their experiences.


This was a great day. I loved hearing diverse backgrounds, and hearing the information made me less tense about my future. I really liked the diversity of women and ideas. I learned a lot about career choices. It was all great. Grade 10


The Xbox lab was really cool. I really appreciated how women told us that having a passion in tech is very helpful towards finding a good job. Grade 11


I can do more with my art than I thought I could, with my theatre, crafting, problem solving. I feel more capable of having a job I won’t need a vacation from! I loved it. Grade 11


I think this event was great and could not be better! I loved the tour of the retail experience and it inspired me to want to work where I can create things that help promote the retail experience. Grade 11


I loved the Xbox tour, going to the room where we watch people play games and ask them questions about the games they play. I have more hope about being in the field now. Grade 9



Thank you all for making this day so wonderful!