Written by volunteer writer Amy Freeman
For Nourma Bumgarner loves technology. “I get so wrapped up and excited about my technical work that I sometimes find it hard to take time to work my life in,” she jokes. “Fortunately, my husband is also in technology.”
Now living and working in North Carolina, Nourma originally comes from California, where she studied Math at Cal Berkeley. She was inspired to pursue a career in tech after participating in the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Program (MESA). It “opened up a world of possibilities to me,” she says.
She started her career as a developer, then switched to focusing on program-managing large technology projects. Much of her previous work has been managing global technology partners, in both localization and globalization. Today, she is the webmaster for STOMP the Monster NC, a local nonprofit that provides financial support to more than 1,500 cancer patients.
Nourma decided to start volunteering with TechGirlz after hearing about the organization online. She had a virtual meeting with Alicia, the national outreach manager, then attended a meetup for volunteers in the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area. The volunteer team from RTP was very welcoming and encouraging: “I knew this was an effort that I wanted to contribute to,” Nourma says.
Volunteering with TechGirlz has opened a whole new world to Nourma. “TechGirlz is the bomb,” she says, ” I love working with TechGirlz because I feel like part of a team that works together doing something that we all love.”
“I hope to inspire girls to pursue careers in STEM by helping to build their confidence and by providing opportunities to delve into areas in STEM that they otherwise might not be aware of.”
Nourma admits that she had no set expectations for the program’s curriculum, but was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the TechShopz and the range of available topics. “The courses are well-planned and they appear to keep with current trends,” she notes.
During her time working with TechGirlz, Nourma has met other women who share her passion for tech and the goal of creating a welcoming environment for girls who want to play with technology.
When she’s not volunteering with TechGirlz, Nourma takes courses on edx.org to help keep her skills sharp and up-to-date. She also likes to read about interesting historical figures. Most recently, she’s been reading about Ada Lovelace, who many consider to be the first computer programmer. Nourma also teaches fitness classes to all populations and spends time with her “very favorite friend,” her husband.
Nourma encourages anyone who might be interested in volunteering with TechGirlz to “jump in! It is so much fun to work with motivated, creative girls. Despite my being the instructor, I feel like I learn a lot from the girls, who provide new and innovative ways of viewing a problem. It is great to be a part of a community of learning.”
Do you love all things tech-related? Share your passion for tech with the next generation of girls by volunteering with TechGirlz today!