Monday, September 14, 2015

Girls can pursue what they love

As reported in TakePart and The Christian Science Monitor, 27 teenage girls from the Middle East and North Africa came to the United States this summer to join American teens and industry leaders in the fourth annual TechGirls Exchange Program in Washington DC and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department and Legacy International, the group (shown below) includes "science geeks" from Algeria, Egypt, the Palestinian Territories and Yemen. The program engages, empowers and inspires teenage girls in science, engineering, technology and math.

                                                                                      Courtesy of StateDeptTechGirls/Facebook
Sixteen-year-old Laureen Abu Shammmah joined the program from Morocco. She says technology often lifts her up when she feels sad, explaining that "technology takes you to another world because it can make people happy. I'm also in love with the magical parts of IT. You can't see what's happening behind the scenes, and the perfect connection between computer hardware and software, just like the body and the brain."

So far, 80 program alumnae have shared their skills with more than 2,000 girls in their home countries before studying at the top universities in the world. The program convinces girls that they can pursue what they love.

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