Impact Stories from Education Diplomacy/Mentoring Policy Area
Fellows host mentorship event for students in Karakol
Fellow(s): Nazira Sheraly, Aiturgan Zulpukarova, Elena Chigibaeva, Gulzire Minbaeva
Cohort: 2016, 2017, 2018
Last week, 2016 fellow Nazira Sheraly, 2017 fellow Aiturgan Zulpukarova and 2018 fellows Elena Chigibaeva and Gulzire Minbaeva organized an event that brought together students for a day of inspiration and learning. The meetup, held at the American Corner Karakol, was the first event hosted by Techaim, a mentorship program recently launched by Nazira and the fellows. Through Techaim, the fellows aspire to support women in STEM fields, particularly those outside of the capital city, to grow and develop. With support from program volunteers, the fellows coordinated the event, engaged partners and presented on their own work and initiatives.
Eighty high school and university students attended the day’s programming, which featured keynotes and presentations from local women in tech. Elena, a CEO and independent consultant, presented on her career trajectory and expanded on Techaim’s mission to educate and mentor students interested in tech. Aiturgan spoke to the students about Kuragami, her company that works with local artisans to make sustainable and ethically sourced products. “Participants loved it, and the students were inspired by our supportive community of women in tech,” said Nazira. Techaim hosted its second meetup on June 15 in Osh and has plans to continue scaling.
Report Date...: 6/10/19
Fellows featured as leading innovators in tech
Fellow(s): Sondos Samara, Afnan Ali
Cohort: 2011, 2018
2018 fellow Sondos Samara and 2011 fellow Afnan Ali were recently recognized as innovators in Jordan by Global Innovation Path, an initiative that educates, advises and amplifies leaders in emerging countries.
With a mission to raise awareness about diverse innovators piloting new technologies, Global Innovation Path selects leaders in the fields of tech, health and evolving education. Sondos is the founder of SanadyMe, an interactive online platform where medical patients can share their experiences, find support and learn about research and the latest medical technologies in a safe environment. In her video feature, Sondos explained the mission of SanadyMe, highlighting their goal of creating a database for medical providers and pharmaceutical companies that can improve drug development and better address patient needs in the MENA region.
Afnan is the founder of Eureka Tech Academy, a program that specializes in educating children on engineering, invention and transforming ideas into products and services. In her feature, she spoke about founding and scaling her initiative, stressing the importance of educating the next generation: “If we want to make a revolution in technology, we should start by educating kids,” she said.
Report Date...: 5/27/19
Fellows give career talks to inspire students at Almaty school
Fellow(s): Zhanargul Izimova, Nargiza Siyabekova
Recently, 2018 fellows Zhanargul Izimova and Nargiza Siyabekova visited Nazarbayev Intellectual School in Almaty to share their career journeys and encourage students to pursue STEM fields. The school, which caters to students ages five to 18, focuses on physical, chemical and biological sciences. The visit was co-organized by Zhanargul’s daughter, a Kazakhstan delegate for gender equality in politics for Model UN.
Zhanargul, a managing director at Sberbank and Nargiza, a senior teacher at a programming school for children, shared their professional journeys and perspectives on gender equality in the workplace. Addressing the students, they explained that women account for only 5% of IT positions in the country and discussed the role that unconscious bias plays in the issue of underrepresentation. They also spoke about their TechWomen experiences, encouraging the female students to develop both their digital and soft skills. “We adored these young, courageous and determined students,” said Zhanargul. “These children are the future leaders in Kazakhstan.”
Report Date...: 5/27/19
Fellows collaborate to bring a day of learning to rural students
Fellow(s): Irina Mun, Valeriya Tyo
Recently, 2018 fellows Irina Mun and Valeriya Tyo worked together to bring 32 construction students from rural Kazakhstan to Astana for a day of learning. Irina, a lecturer for the construction department at Karaganda State Industrial University, wanted to expose her students to new technologies and innovations in construction. Valeriya is the head of BI technology at BeInTech, an affiliate of the BI Group, the largest construction company in Kazakhstan.
Together, the fellows organized a field trip to the BI Group for a day of professional development. Through panels with section managers, sessions on design thinking and presentations on new technologies in construction, the students learned about the possibilities in Kazakhstan’s construction industry. In one Q&A session, Irina’s students learned from managers about female representation at the company and how women manage work and family.
“All of my students are from rural areas and don’t have a lot of opportunities to get good positions,” Irina shared. “Since our day in Astana, some of my students have started to learn English. Most of them began to use design thinking in their everyday life. Valeriya and her team showed them that everything is possible if you aspire to it.”
Report Date...: 5/20/19
Fellow shares professional insights in AnitaB.org webinar
Fellow(s): Peace Asukwo
Last week, 2013 fellow of Nigeria Peace Asukwo collaborated with AnitaB.org to host a “TechTalk” on career development for women in tech. The webinar was hosted by Systers, an AnitaB.org online community for women in computer science to network, share skills and support one another in their careers.
The TechTalk was attended by women from the United States, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Peace, a software developer at IBM, shared five insights into early career development for women in technology fields. Through her five lessons – have a passion for technology, believe in yourself, join peer groups, volunteer and always seek new learning opportunities – Peace hoped to motivate women to set ambitious goals and foster a community of peers and mentors. She encouraged the women to “learn and unlearn” and to pursue opportunities that will expand their skillset and develop their worldview.
Report Date...: 5/20/19
Fellow launches SingularityU Chapter in Quetta
Fellow(s): Ayesha Abdul Majeed
This month, 2018 fellow Ayesha Abdul Majeed spearheaded the launch of a new SingularityU Chapter in Quetta, Pakistan. Through their 142 Chapters, Singularity University facilitates local innovation and focuses on solving global challenges. Ayesha, who was hosted at Singularity University for her TechWomen mentorship, spoke about her goal of opening a chapter in her own communtiy in week three of the 2018 fall program.
Ayesha will serve as the SingularityU Ambassador, bringing innovative programming to students, entrepreneurs and tech professionals. In collaboration with National Incubation Center, the region’s first business incubator, the Quetta Chapter will prepare local entrepreneurs to build high-growth and sustainable startups. “We hope to tackle problems and support our community using exponential learning tools,” says Ayesha. “We plan to make a global impact by taking local innovations internationally.”
Report Date...: 5/13/19
Fellow shares expertise with King Abdullah II of Jordan
Fellow(s): Hiba Shabrouq
Last week, 2017 fellow Hiba Shabrouq was invited by King Abdullah II and Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah of Jordan to share her expertise on the leading issues facing Jordan. Alongside a group of distinguished young professionals, Hiba discussed politics, economics, technology and entrepreneurship at King Abullah’s palace, offering her input on solutions to Jordan’s challenges.
Hiba is part of TechWomen seed grant-winning team Ozwah, an initiative that educates and empowers female orphans through training and workshops. At the meeting, Hiba spoke about Ozwah’s mission to address Jordan’s education gap through hosting intensive STEM workshops and capacity building trainings for the country’s young girls.
Report Date...: 5/13/19
Fellow’s team wins third place at Hackathon for Social Good
Fellow(s): Yamama Shaka’a
Country: Palestinian Territories
2016 fellow of the West Bank Yamama Shaka’a co-mentored a team that won third place at NYU Abu Dhabi’s 8th annual Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World. The three-day programming marathon brought together students, startup founders and tech professionals with a goal of promoting the use of technology for social good. Together, the teams developed innovative apps to address a problem facing the Arab world, culminating in pitching their ideas to a panel of judges.
Yamama, a teaching assistant, lab instructor and Mozilla Tech Speaker co-led a team that created Helping Hands, an app that coordinates donations in times of crisis. Through the app’s portal, international donors can connect to local charities,who are able to provide additional information and list specific community needs and resources.
Report Date...: 5/6/19
TechWomen alumnae collaborate with TechGirls for STEM event
Fellow(s): Nisreen Deeb
This week, 2013 fellow Nisreen Deeb collaborated with TechWomen and TechGirls alumnae for an event aimed at educating and inspiring girls interested in STEM fields. Nisreen is the co-founder of Girls Got IT, an initiative that exposes girls aged 15-17 to STEM through interactive workshops on robotics, 3D printing, website design, game development and more.
The Girls Got IT event, supported by UNICEF Lebanon, was attended by 600 public and private school girls from throughout the country. The day featured inspirational keynotes, group sessions and 25 workshops led by local startup companies. 2018 seed grant-winning team My ioLab participated in the event, hosting a workshop on IoT and innovation.
As part of a broader effort to unite alumnae of TechWomen and TechGirls – an ECA program aiming to inspire teenaged girls to further pursue STEM – three TechGirls alumnae participated as volunteers, supporting Girls Got IT with logistics, registration and workshop facilitation. “I love TechGirls and their passion, and I always try to include them in our events” says Nisreen. The day was Girls Got IT’s biggest event to date; moving forward, Nisreen hopes to include as many girls as possible, contributing to their mission of ensuring that no girl is left behind.
Report Date...: 4/29/49
Fellow’s team wins Judge’s Award at robotics competition
Fellow(s): Faten Khalfallah
2015 fellow Faten Khalfallah and her team of high school students won the Judge’s Award at the 2019 VEX Robotics World Championship High School Division, held this week in Louisville, Kentucky. Faten is the regional project manager at VEX Robotics and the VEX Girl Powered initiative ambassador in Tunisia.
The largest robotics competition in the world, the annual event brought together more than 1,500 high school teams from around the globe to build robots and compete in engineering challenges. The Judge’s Award is reserved for a team that deserves special recognition for their accomplishments, perseverance and team unity during the competition season. Previously, Faten and a team of students won four awards at the 2018 FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition in Mexico City.
Report Date...: 4/29/19