New series kicks off on October 4 in South Philadelphia
September 28, 2017 (PHILADELPHIA) – TechGirlz, a non-profit organization empowering middle school girls to pursue diverse technology careers, has joined forces with the Free Library of Philadelphia to expand education in the communities it serves.
The inaugural workshops, kicking off on October 4 from 4-6 PM at the South Philadelphia Library, will teach students to Make a Website Using WordPress. First-come first-served registration is available on TechGirlz’s website for up to twenty students, with any unfilled spaces available for day-of walk-ins.
Workshops will be led by Temple University students, hosted by the Free Library’s neighborhood libraries, and powered by TechGirlz’s free, open-sourced curriculum. Tapping into their trove of programming, TechGirlz is collaborating with the Free Library to launch this pilot series while working toward long term sustainability.
“TechGirlz workshops were designed to be led by anyone, anywhere – even if they are not career technologists,” said Tracey Welson-Rossman, Founder and CEO of TechGirlz. “The Free Library of Philadelphia is well-equipped to inspire Philadelphia’s young women, and we are excited to join them in getting this program off the ground.”
Libraries are pillars of the community, often accessible for those who do not have ready access to transportation or technological devices. Having worked alongside libraries in other cities, TechGirlz was thrilled when Philadelphia Councilman Alan Domb sparked a connection between the two organizations.
“We are delighted to be partnering with TechGirlz to bring their unique training to young women in our community. The future opportunities in the technology field will only grow, so this opportunity to prepare young women for this field is exciting to me,” said Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
The series, especially its staffing, was made possible thanks to support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Herbert A. and Grace H. Dow Foundation, and Startup PHL’s Call for Ideas Grant.
“These workshops will help to attract more people to our public libraries while leveraging technology to create pathways and mentorship opportunities,” said Patrick Morgan, Knight Foundation program director for Philadelphia. “Through it, we hope to experiment with new ways of creating more vibrant public spaces that will help bring diverse groups together, improve neighborhood life, and create lessons for communities across the country.”
“This series of TechGirlz workshops is a perfect example of the good that can be done when Philadelphia organizations and institutions come together,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “With support from the City – through StartupPHL’s Call for Ideas grant, the Knight Foundation, and the Herbert A. and Grace H. Dow Foundation, TechGirlz is now able to expand access to technology for Philadelphia’s young women. I’m proud we were able to back this effort, and I look forward to seeing the impact it has in its participants.”
Check out the recent PhillyMag article posted talking more about the five organizations, including TechGirlz, that just received $100,000 to split in order to help connect Philly youth to tech!
TechGirlz (www.TechGirlz.org) inspires young women to shatter the statistics. The organization’s aim is to help adolescent girls understand that a future in technology does not necessarily equate to “a boring computer job,” but instead transcends the cubicle into nearly every field imaginable. By encouraging women to participate in science and technology today, as well as providing a solid foundation of peers, mentors and positive role models, TechGirlz hopes to spark innovation, exhilaration and motivation in young women to become tomorrow’s tech leaders.
About the Free Library of Philadelphia
The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and the Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi, including neighborhood Hotspots; and rich special collections, including those at Parkway Central Library and at the Rosenbach. With more than 6 million in-person visits and millions more online annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.
About the Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.