Written by volunteer writer Alison Perch
As an office manager at a technical consulting company, Nicole Jostes gets to interact with people who have an array of technical interests. She was inspired to connect her workplace to an organization focused on helping girls learn about technology.
Nicole liked the idea of working with middle school girls, so she contacted TechGirlz and set up a workshop. She notes that it was fun and easy to get started.
“Their setup is super flexible, leaving your group to be able to customize it as much as desired. Males are also good teachers for the workshops; just because it is an event for girls, doesn’t mean they can’t be excellent teachers for these workshops, too,” Nicole says.
After running her first TechShop, Nicole wanted to get involved with TechGirlz in other ways. In addition to coordinating TechShopz, Nicole writes the upcoming events newsletter for TechGirlz.
“[TechGirlz] is a very supportive network of people, and easy to get involved, whether you want to help with a TechShop or do other internal related work. The girls are also very appreciative whenever they get to attend one of the workshops,” Nicole explains.
As a woman working in the technology industry, Nicole feels strongly about supporting the next generation of women in tech. She notes that it can be intimidating to work in a male-dominated field, though she’s met many friendly, open-minded people through her work.
Nicole feels it’s important to reach girls while they’re in middle school, which she says is an impressionable age. She explains that STEM education has differed for boys and girls in the past, and she appreciates the way in which TechGirlz teaches girls about tech.
“TechGirlz present[s] new technologies to girls in new exciting ways, that they might not otherwise be exposed,” Nicole says.
When she’s not volunteering with TechGirlz, Nicole says she “loves going to live music shows, traveling, exploring art, and taking advantage of the fun things Chicago has to offer!” In the realm of technology, Nicole hopes to improve her Photoshop and InDesign skills.
We appreciate Nicole’s willingness to volunteer her time and expertise with TechGirlz!
Your organization can lead TechShopz, too! To get started, visit our Volunteer page.