Panel at Graham-Kapowsin High School


October 29, 2019 | IGNITE Panel at Graham-Kapowsin High School | by Kelly Woyak, Career & College Readiness Specialist

On Oct. 29, girls at Graham-Kapowsin High School had a great time learning about IGNITE, learning about the journeys of some amazing professional women, and learning about the future of women in STEM careers.  It was refreshing to hear that we are evolving to continue to be more accepting of women in technology and STEM, and more and more companies are inviting the diversity of experience, personality, and ways of thinking.

Our professional speakers were:

  • Kelly Rodriguez, Partner Development at Skykick
  • Leslie Pedro, Software Engineer at Upbound
  • Lauri Bingham, Director/Technology PMO at T-Mobile
  • Alyssa Woodliff, Salesforce and Project Manager at T-Mobile

The panelists shared what they were thinking when they were the students’ age, their education paths, how education helped to shape their career pathways, and how they ended up in their careers.  It was important to note that everyone’s journey is different and that creating a support network and building relationships with people is key to success in any field.  It was also brought to light that you can work in STEM/technology careers in any company, so you can choose a company that does something you are passionate about and provide technical support in a variety of ways.  The sky’s the limit!

Through the panel, our students realized some major benefits of technology work, including the ability to work from home, travel, and employ a high level of creativity.  With anything, it is important to advocate for yourself, and the panelists illustrated that the STEM world demands that advocacy.  The biggest takeaways from today’s presentation were:

Be Curious

Be Adventurous

Be Intentional

Thank you to Kelly, Leslie, Lauri, and Alyssa for taking time out of your busy schedules to share your stories with our young women here at GKHS.  It was a great event to launch our IGNITE programming this year!


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


of girls/non-binary students want to investigate taking a STEM related course next semester


of girls/non-binary students want to study harder to attend college and further their education

Here's what the students enjoyed most:


"Learning about different STEM careers, and hearing stories similar to mine and how they solved their problems."

- 10th grade


"Some highlights were the discussion about further education and what the best route to it would be. It made me start thinking of educational priorities."

- 10th grade


"The journey how they got to their work now inspired me to pursue what I want to achieve success."

- 11th grade


"The highlight of today was they all come from different backgrounds. What inspired me was that I got to hear from all four of them."

- 11th grade


"I enjoyed everybody's stories, the amount of recommendations as well. I think it was amazing and there was very valuable information provided."

- 10th grade


"I enjoyed hearing the stories of how they found their interests. I also loved hearing the advice they gave."

- 10th grade


"Talking to them and hearing their stories."

- 10th grade