Before we get too deep into the excitement of new programming and changes coming to TechGirlz for 2022, we wanted to take a look back at 2021. TechGirlz’s success is driven not just by our staff but by our amazing volunteers, our girls, and the adults who care for and support them. All of YOU helped us not just survive, but thrive, through another year of the global pandemic, virtual learning/workshops, and uncertainty.
Our TechGirlz and volunteers proved they can do ANYTHING! Even build rollercoasters virtually!
Let’s start with a look at 2021 by the numbers…
Yes, you read all the numbers correctly! Take a second and give yourselves a hand before reading on as we recap some of the other 2021 highlights.
One of the most excited participants in a TechShop this year was our very own director’s daughter, Cybella. After watching her three older brothers, her mom and her aunts (one a TechGirlz staff member and one a TechGirlz volunteer!) getting to do all the cool tech things and patiently waiting, she was finally old enough to attend her 1st TechShop – a Podcasting workshop run by techaWare!
2021 also saw the TechGirlz team grow with the addition of two new staff members! Welcome Andrew and Bree!
Breyanna Johnson, Media Marketing Specialist
Andrew Santangelo, Curriculum Development Manager
More and more of our TechGirlz middle-schoolers have gone on to high school and college to study computer science. These impressive future women in tech are already supporting the next generation by joining TechGirlz Teen Advisory Board (TAB). There were so many interested applicants that TAB was expanded to 48 members in 2021!
Not only are these young women giving back by running workshops, but they are also representing TechGirlz by speaking on podcasts and at events like Comcast’s Security on the Schuykill Cybersecurity Conference!
And our TAB members were not the only ones speaking! Even with almost every event being virtual, the TechGirlz team spoke at more events and on more podcasts than ever before! Including at one of the premier global tech events – SXSW!
One focus for the TechGirlz team in 2021 was finding ways to build community within the constraints of a virtual environment. From this commitment and a lot of brainstorming was born our new TechPodz program! TechPodz allow for the learning of tech skills, mentoring, and the building of connections with like-minded peers in a fun, interactive environment. The development and test launch of this program was a huge success and we are excited to be rolling out the full program in 2022! (Learn how your company or organization can launch their own TechPod.)
Another highlight of 2021 was TechGirlz being recognized by the Women in IT Awards as the Education and Training Initiative of the Year! When you do the work because of your passion for the mission and the difference it makes, every day is full of satisfaction, but to be recognized by your peers, especially by a global organization, is a whole other level of job satisfaction!
Left to right: Sara, Alicia, Amy, Sarah Marie, Danica, Breyanna, Gloria, Andrew
Even with all of the accomplishments of 2021, the best part of the year for the TechGirlz team happened in November. We all finally got to meet! The TechGirlz team is fully remote and scattered all over the US – different parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Atlanta, and Chicago. After a long pandemic working remotely, our small but mighty team of eight was able to gather in New York City to work on strategic planning for 2022!
As with most people, 2021 was a year of highs and lows, but we are fortunate to have a great TechGirlz team, supported by our Creating IT Futures and CompTIA colleagues, and all of the students and mission champions who are part of the TechGirlz community. Thank you all for contributing to TechGirlz success in 2021! We look forward to bringing you exciting new programs, new workshops, and new ways for the community to connect in 2022!