Panel at Nathan Hale High School


On December 6th, Nathan Hale High School’s chapter of IGNITE hosted five IGNITE Panel speakers. Students listened to the speaker’s stories and challenges they faced in navigating their careers. Students also had the chance to seek advice from the panelists by asking questions. We’d like to give a huge “thank you” to the panelists who joined us, as their stories were all so inspiring!

The Panelists included: Jessica Garcia (Manager at Tableau), Shannon Eubanks (VP, Device Development at L’Oreal), Monica Martin (Senior Risk Manager at Microsoft), Melissa Acton (CEO of Chameleon Technologies), and Prab Doowa (Marketing Coordinator at Chameleon Technologies).

Some highlights from the day included:

Learning that STEM related jobs have a creative aspect. Science isn’t just about working on mechanical things. Monica Martin, Microsoft stated that the balance of ideas will serve you well. The right side of the brain can help the left. After our event I showed her our Maker Space. She walked in and said “This is just like the garage at Microsoft. We have a place with a variety of equipment and supplies where employees can go and tinker. Many good ideas have come from this, resulting in marketable products.

Learning that soft skills like teamwork and project-based learning is critical! It matters how you treat others and that you learn to work with others.

Discovering the importance of networking in career-building. It’s never too early to begin networking. Building relationships over time, finding good mentors, will help you along your journey.

Learning about the types of degrees that lead people to become the Scientists who work for L’Oreal to develop their cosmetics.

Students really enjoyed the personal career-related stories shared by our speakers.


After attending this event:


of girls/non-binary students are more interested in STEM


of girls/non-binary students want to continue attending IGNITE events 

Here’s what the students had to say:


“I enjoyed learning about different majors that can be useful in STEM.”

–  9th grade


“I was interested to hear about the business aspect in STEM fields and how you can go down different paths.”

–  12th grade


I liked hearing about women working in technology and how they ended up where they are.”

–  12th grade



“Knowing there are more options and opportunities in STEM, being in STEM related jobs won’t necessarily hinder creativity. The things I enjoy daily– fashion, painting, makeup, all are a type of science that is accessible.”

–  10th grade


“Made me think about pursuing chemistry.”

–  12th grade



“It shows the diversity that science jobs can have. It’s important to make connections, with everyone you meet, they could end up helping you.”

–  10th grade


“To not be afraid and take a chance on something I may be interested in, even if that career is mostly populated by men. And to be more comfortable and confident in myself.”

–  11th grade



“I really enjoyed seeing these women make it in a career that is dominated by males.”

–  11th grade


“The women who spoke and how they told their story. How they were in high school, how they found what they wanted to do with their life, and how happy they are with the choices they’ve made.”

–  12th grade


“Their stories, and how persistent they are.”

–  9th grade