"Have you ever been in a room filled with science enthusiasts that were all girls?" "Now that I think about it, I haven't."
This was the conversation my friend and I had as we stepped in a conference room at Johns Hopkins University for our first session of the Girls in Technology (GIT) Mentor-Protege program.
Girls in Technology, powered by Women in Technology, works to allow girls to explore different fields of STEM with the support of professional female mentors. The program benefits both parties: we get to network with professionals in STEM fields that we would like to work in and develop skills such as leadership and public speaking, while the mentors get to give back to their community.
Every month, we get together, interact with a panel of speakers and break off into mentoring groups afterward, where we discuss what paths we can take in STEM, what the latest developments in STEM are, and get to know girls with similar interests to us.
We learn more from each other than we can on our own, which is why I love the GIT program. It has introduced me to mentors in the fields I want to work in, and girls who are interested in similar areas as well. It's given me a sense of clarity regarding what it is like to be a woman in STEM: not easy. But it's a challenge I'm ready to take on, a challenge that GIT has given me the confidence to take on. It's also introduced me to cool scholarship and internship opportunities, such as my current internship with the Kashmir World Foundation!
I study environmental science in school, but I'd never considered how much technology can be applied in solving global crises such as global warming and wildlife poaching. GIT introduced me to that, and I believe it stands as proof that the intelligent, creative minds of women are ones that STEM cannot ignore, a lesson that is worth sharing.