June 2018 IGNITE Worldwide was honored as a recipient of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) by the The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). This award is given to individuals and organizations who demonstrate excellence in, “teaching or mentoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).” It is considered one of the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-6 and 7-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics,..
IGNITE Worldwide’s Founder was selected as the winner of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)’s 2014 Unsung Hero Award. This achievement is attributed to her ongoing dedication through IGNITE Worldwide to promoting access, equity and diversity in education and workforce development.
As an award winning, best practice program, IGNITE Worldwide was featured in the journal of the Association for Career and Technical Education. The article, titled “Igniting Women’s Passion for Careers in STEM”, focuses on how the IGNITE program helps schools achieve gender equality in technical classes.
The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology honored IGNITE Worldwide’s Founder as the winner of their 2012 Social Impact Award. The award was given on behalf of Rodgveller’s work at IGNITE Worldwide, providing an affordable, community-based, systemic approach to STEM education and outreach for young women.
IGNITE Worldwide’s Founder, Cathi Rodgveller, was honored by Women’s eNews as one of the top leaders committed to improving the lives of women and girls in the U.S. and internationally. She was also featured as one of their “Seven Who Stretch the Possible” leaders, among other trail blazers for gender equity such as Lilly Ledbetter.
In full support of IGNITE Worldwide’s mission, Senator Cantwell introduced a Bill titled the “21st Century IGNITE STEM Act”. The bill calls for the expansion of IGNITE nationwide and the allocation of funding to encourage girls and underrepresented minorities to pursue studies and careers in STEM fields.
IGNITE Worldwide was awarded the highest recognition as a state and national best practice program by the Department of Education. The award was received by representatives of IGNITE Worldwide at a U.S. Congress briefing in Capitol Hill with the support of Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray.
In October of 2006, IGNITE was chosen by the World Affairs Council and State Department to teach international leaders how to educate girls about technical careers in their countries. Since this time, IGNITE has met with hundreds of leaders from around the world and helped them establish the program in their communities.
The success of IGNITE was the topic of many local news outlets, including The Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, KOMO News, and Microsoft News. The stories highlighted the program’s accomplishments to date as well as the need for the program to expand to reach more schools and grade levels.
IGNITE quickly rose to be the nation’s best program for paving the path of gender equity in vocational training programs at schools. Cisco, one of IGNITE’s earliest industry partners, recognized IGNITE for increasing female enrollment in local Cisco Networking Academies from under 17% to up to 80%. For this achievement, IGNITE received the national Gender Equity Award along with $25k to support the program.
In 1998, a federal grant was issued to ensure young women knew about high wage, high demand career choices. Cathi Rodgveller saw the immense potential of this funding and quickly created a network of enthusiastic women in tech volunteers. The women visited schools and spoke with the girls about technical careers, and the girls started taking field trips to the volunteers’ workplaces! The girls’ excitement translated into increased female enrollment in technical classes, and that’s when Cathi knew she had something special.