Shannon Gruninger and Lindsay Clark, an IT Quality Assurance Manager and Database Administrator respectively at American Credit Acceptance, have led two workshops powered by TechGirlz TechShopz in a BoxTM in South Carolina at Spartanburg School District Six.The first of these was in late February and the latest was on March 31st. The feedback from their first workshop was very positive and they were asked to come back as soon as possible. One of the challenges in the district is for these middle school girls to get access to technology. “This [workshop] is for the girls that don’t have the access to the technology at home. They can come here and get it through TechGirlz,” says Shannon.
The topic at the workshops was learning how to create websites using WordPress. The girls were encouraged to personalize their websites and many of them shared information about the TechShop or other interests on their pages. Two girls said they loved the first event so much, they attended both TechShopz. After sitting in on not one but two WordPress 101 sessions, they possibly may be WordPress gurus in the making!
Going the extra mile to help is of great importance to both Shannon and Lindsay. When asked about their favorite parts of the day Shannon said that showing the girls that there are many different pathways to get where they want to be was what she enjoyed the most. “You don’t necessarily have to be a developer to be in the tech field,” she says. Lindsay enjoyed sharing the information and also engaging each girl in a different way and making it fun. A lot of laughing and joking seemed to break the ice and help soothe some of the young ladies’ nerves while helping them to focus on their work and see that you can have lots of fun while learning something new.
As far as what they learned from the girls, Lindsay said that she gained a little more confidence in herself and that she could see herself in some of the students. Shannon was able to see that they were really getting into it and embracing the possibilities, something she says wasn’t possible when she was that age. Both of them would like to see more people running workshops powered by TechGirlz TechShopz in a BoxTM, and not just women. They would love to see male role models help encourage students as well, both the girls and the boys.
Shannon, Lindsay and Spartanburg School District Six are looking forward to more TechShopz in a Box in the future!
Want to encourage students in your community to how to create a website with WordPress? Sign up to get started using TechGirlz TechShopz in a Box™.