Volunteer Spotlight: Ruth Willenborg

Written by volunteer writer Alison Perch

Ruth Willenborg
When Ruth Willenborg retired from a career in tech, she wanted to do something to support the next generation.

“I started looking at different STEM organizations and found TechGirlz in the triangle region. I was very impressed with both the local and national organization, and it aligned perfectly with my retirement volunteer interests,” Ruth says.

Ruth spent 30 years at IBM in various software development roles and retired from her position as a Distinguished Engineer. Today, as a volunteer instructor for TechGirlz, Ruth loves encouraging girls to explore technology.

“[I enjoy] how unique the program is and how much the parents of the girls really appreciate the opportunities we are providing,” Ruth explains.

In her spare time, Ruth likes to explore interesting STEM projects at home. In particular, she’s currently working with voice and visual recognition technologies. Outside of tech, Ruth spends time with her 13-year-old son, plays tennis, bikes, and gardens.

Ruth also supports CoderDojo RTP, another free STEM organization with a mission similar to TechGirlz’. She notes that the same girls sometimes attend both CoderDojo and TechGirlz events. (Check out Ruth’s recent blog post “Introducing TT – the talking Linux Penguin” on CoderDojo.com where she talks more about why she loves working with the kids at CoderDojo and TechGirlz and the newest project/technology she’s enjoyed learning and sharing with the groups.)

For anyone thinking about volunteering with TechGirlz, Ruth offers these words of advice: “Do it! You don’t have to be some super technology programming wizard to help the girls and be a role model. Having volunteers who work in all different aspects of technology is helpful, so the girls see the breadth of opportunity.”

Girls at a techshop

Retired from a career in tech? Volunteering with TechGirlz is the perfect way to give back and support the next generation.