Written by volunteer writer Amy Freeman
Ever wonder what happens to the girls who attend TechGirlz workshops after the program is over? In many cases, they keep coming back for more, and in some instances, end up joining our team of volunteers.
Dhivya Arasappan is a good example of the TechGirlz effect in action. Together with a friend, she attended her first TechGirlz workshop in eighth grade. The second TechGirlz workshop she attended was held at UPenn and gave her the opportunity to analyze the DNA of food.
Dhivya was so inspired by what she learned in the food DNA workshop that she began a PCR and gel electrophoresis experiment for a school project. As part of the experiment, she took a sample of her own DNA and compared it to other control DNA sequences that were homozygous dominant, homozygous recessive, and heterozygous for the Alu gene.
Before attending her first TechGirlz workshops, Dhivya wasn’t sure about pursuing a career in the tech field. The Food DNA workshop and her other experiences with the organization helped her develop an interest in combining medicine and technology in her future career.
Today, she is a member of the TechGirlz Teen Advisory Board and one of the webmasters of the TechGirlz site. Through her role as a webmaster, she’s gained a lot of hands-on experience using WordPress. She says that Amy Cliett, the National Director of TechGirlz, “has been especially great in teaching me how to use WordPress.” Cliett has also shown Dhivya where she can go to learn more about WordPress.
Along with using WordPress in her work with TechGirlz, Dhivya also uses it in her role as the web editor for her school’s newspaper, “The Spoke.” She says she’s interested in further developing the online platform for the paper, using the skills she’s developed.
Speaking about her time as a volunteer with TechGirlz, Dhivya has nothing but good things to say. “Everyone on the Teen Advisory Board makes it a pleasure to be there,” she says. “I especially have to thank Amy, Donna, Danica, Alicia and Sarah for all their help, guidance, and advice.”
When she’s not busy with TechGirlz, Dhivya is likely to be working on her homework or spending time on the squash court. She also finds some time for relaxing and reading.
Whether you’re a teenager who’s attended a TechGirlz workshop in the past or an adult looking to get involved, learn more about volunteering with TechGirlz today.