Written by Kayla, age 15, TechGirlz Volunteer
Hey! I’m Kayla. I’m 15 years old. I’m a farmer, a business woman, and a TechGirl.
TechGirlz has led me to realize that I can excel in whatever I want to do, even if it’s a male dominated field (like ranching and farming). TechGirlz workshops and summer camps have given me insight into tools I can use to help me excel. And TechGirlz mentors have been awesome role models. First there was Tracey, who actually replied to my sister’s emails many years ago and genuinely wanted to know how to help our robotics team. Then there was Audrey Troutt, who drove far out of the city on a cold winter’s night to show a bunch of young girls on a robotics team how to build a website with WordPress. Then there was Renee Avery, who asked a bunch of shy girls to meet with her and help her plan a TechGirlz website. Oh, and she ordered some of my KanineKookies.
But I haven’t told you about KanineKookies. Without TechGirlz, I’m not sure I’d have a business, but thanks to the proceeds of my business, I can work toward my dream of being a farmer and encouraging kids in my town to practice responsible animal husbandry and grow their own food. It’s my passion and my small business fuels that passion, enabling me to have the money I need to care for my animals. But none of it would be possible without the right tools. The tools of technology.
Let’s see, for starters, my sister and I built my website on WordPress and found cheap hosting through GoDaddy. I use MailChimp to send out customer newsletters (with coupons; coupons are always helpful). I use PayPal to accept payments on my shop, but I also just got this cool card swipe option that plugs right into an iPod! It’s called SparkPay, and the equipment is free. (I’m 15 and trying to make money baking dog cookies. Free is really important.) Oh, and of course there’s social media. I stick to Facebook and Pinterest, because, well, they’re my favorites. And let’s face it, social media, as great as it is, sucks away our time. So I’m resisting other forms of social media for now because a girl’s gotta have time to haul hay, take the cow to the pasture, fill water buckets, gather eggs, plant and care for the garden, bake all-natural dog cookies, and do some school work too, ya know.
If you learn to use it well, technology is a huge asset to any girl’s dreams. And a girl’s dreams can be big and kinda crazy. I’m so glad TechGirlz helped me truly understand both of those facts.
So if you’re a young girl reading this, think about what you’re passionate about and decide how you can make it happen. Whatever it is, I suggest you run for it full force. Ignore people who tell you you’re incapable, too weak, or you wanna do something that usually guys do. Because, honestly? Women are needed in male jobs more than ever right now. (Like tech jobs and even farming!) Women notice things men don’t. Women use their brains differently than men do. And most women I know manage their time better than men do. So I’ve found lots of great online groups and forums where I can ask questions of other women in agriculture and farming. In fact, technology has enabled me to connect with female mentors around the world!
Once you know what you wanna do, make sure you learn how technology can be your asset, and attend TechGirlz workshops that can help you learn all you can about that technology. Because even passions that may seem like they wouldn’t rely on technology (like running a farm, or baking and selling natural dog cookies) use tech every day.
I’m so thankful TechGirlz encouraged me to dream big and use technology to get there!
If you’d like to know more about me and what I’m up to, please go to KanineKookies.biz. I offer a Kookies-of-the-Month Klub that all dog lovers really should check out! And every single purchase helps me encourage kids in my community and around the world (thanks to technology!) to practice responsible animal husbandry and grow their own food.