Secondary school girls from the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia have arrived in Washington to participate in the United States Department of State’s TechGirls exchange program.
This four-week program was launched in 2012 and it aims at empowering girls in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields to pursue higher education and careers through hands-on skills development training with American technology leaders.
Also, Central Asia was added to the program for the first time this year in order to expand on the program’s mission to provide more opportunities for girls to improve their STEM skills and positively impact their communities.
The TechGirls exchange alumnae, with a total of 186, have trained over 3,500 peers in their home countries and have also pursued studies at leading institutions around the world.
The program strengthens American national and economic security by empowering girls with the technical skills and strategic relationships to lead in a global economy.
The TechGirls exchange centerpiece will be a 12-day Java coding camp with American peers at Virginia Tech’s interactive labs in Blacksburg, Virginia. The TechGirls participants will also visit the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and experience life with an American family for a weekend in southern Virginia.
Public and private sector organizations will mentor the TechGirls, offering them insights into STEM careers. Legacy International, the Department of State’s implementing partner for this program, has teamed up with a number of partners, including AT&T, Echo & Co, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), Flatiron School, Islamic Relief, NPR, Vox Media, 1901 Group, Nlock.one, Excella, Ozmo, Qualtrax Inc, and Joba Design.