Impact Stories from Youth Engagement Policy Area
Team Jordan makes progress on action plan project
Fellow(s): Hiba Shabrouq, Ala’a Agha Karss, Aseel Almusa, Nour Altobasi and Dhelal Shorman
Team Jordan, one of five teams to win a $3,000 seed grant during the 2017 program for their action plan project, has taken exciting steps to reach their goal. The team members – Hiba Shabrouq, Ala’a Agha Karss, Aseel Almusa, Nour Altobasi and Dhelal Shorman – are the creators of Ozwah, an initiative that will provide training, workshops and resources to female orphans in Jordan in order to help them attend university. Lack of funding and resources represent major obstacles to pursuing higher education, and this project aims to make studying in university more accessible to female orphans.
Team Jordan has completed their program design phase, including determination of selection criteria for mentors and trainers. The group has also met with potential sponsor companies such as Orange, Zain and the Alchemist Lab and is exploring partnerships with organizations that have experience working with children, particularly orphans, including the Princess Taghrid Institute. The Ozwah team is preparing to publicly launch social media accounts for Ozwah, as well as www.ozwah.com, in the near future.
Report Date: 5/7/2018
School inspired by TechWomen delegation visit
Fellow(s): Busayo Durojaiye
During the recent delegation trip to Nigeria, mentors, fellows and program staff visited Holy Kids School in Ijegun to introduce junior high and high school students to diverse opportunities for careers in STEM and share perspectives as women in STEM from Silicon Valley. Following opening remarks from 2014 fellow Busayo Durojaiye, mentors gave TED-style talks about STEM careers, innovation and sustainability.
Funmi Thomas, the school administrator, recently reached out to the TechWomen team at IIE to share an update. According to Funmi, the TechWomen delegation “collectively had such a profound impact on [the school] and created a domino effect,” making the students feel valued and inspiring the teachers to take action. As a result of the TechWomen visit, two of the schools’ teachers have started mentorship sessions for students, and four mathematics teachers have started holding math clinics during evenings and weekends. Funmi was also inspired by the visit and has begun volunteering as a mentor for young adults in her area.Read More »
Report Date: 4/30/2018
Team South Africa makes progress on action plan project
Fellow(s): Chiedza Mnguni, Ridhwana Khan,Fanelwa Ajayi, Emily Pather and Danai Nhando,
Country: South Africa, Zimbabwe
Team South Africa, one of five teams to win a $3,000 seed grant during the 2017 program for their action plan project, has made considerable progress in the implementation of their initiative, Kasi Maths. Kasi Maths aims to provide math tutoring services to students in underprivileged communities. The team members include fellows Chiedza Mnguni, Ridhwana Khan, Fanelwa Ajayi and Emily Pather, as well as Danai Nhando, a fellow of Zimbabwe currently residing in South Africa.
As part of the initial phase of the project, the team has partnered with the U.S. Embassy in Johannesburg to use the American Space Innovation Studio in Soweto township, including computers, technology kits, books and a 3D printer, for program activities. Through a partnership with the University of Johannesburg’s Community Engagement Department, five university students will serve as volunteers during each Kasi Maths session. The team has identified 20 students from Tlhatlogang Secondary School in Soweto township to participate in the program’s first cohort, and they are currently working closely with the school to design a curriculum that supplements what is taught in class. The first cohort of students will begin the program in June.Read More »
Report Date: 4/30/2018
eSTEM Morocco holds mentoring event for women and girls
Fellow(s): Nezha Larhrissi, Salima Kaissi, Samia Elhanchy, Sofia Ghacham and Salma El Aimani
Cohort: 2013, 2017
eSTEM Morocco, an organization founded by 2013 fellows of Morocco Nezha Larhrissi and Salima Kaissi, recently organized a mentoring event in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Morocco. The event welcomed women and girls from all across Morocco, including alumnae of different U.S. exchange programs, such as TechWomen, TechGirls, Space Camp and SUSI. Also supporting activities at the event were 2017 fellows Samia Elhanchy and Sofia Ghacham and 2013 fellow Salma El Aimani.
eSTEM Morocco is a non-profit organization that strives to empower girls with the tools and resources to enter STEM fields and spread awareness about the role of technology in sustainability. eSTEM accomplishes this goal through facilitating trainings, workshops and camps for girls interested in STEM, organizing an international conference and engaging youth in the Technovation challenge.
Report Date: 4/23/2018
Mobile app programming course
Fellow(s): Ala’a Agha Karss
2017 fellow of Jordan, Ala’a Agha Karss, is teaching a course on mobile app programming for The Hashemite University, her alma mater. Twenty-seven students were selected to participate in the course, which is being hosted at the Zain Innovation Campus, a site that aims to activate and ignite the startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Jordan and the MENA region. The course will provide students with an opportunity to connect with the private sector through quality training, and by the end of the course, students will have developed their own pilot project.
As the founder of Superiors, Ala’a has a breadth of experience with creative web solutions and mobile applications. Her company builds websites, implements ERP systems, provides consultations on web design and conducts training sessions for students.
Report Date: 4/16/2018
Fellow conducts entrepreneurship training for students
Fellow(s): Nour Altobasi
Nour Altobasi, 2017 fellow of Jordan, has recently conducted trainings on entrepreneurship and lean startup methodologies for students in her community in Amman. Attendees learned how to transform their ideas into a viable business plan by participating in activities such as creating business model posters and designing surveys. The session also taught participants about entrepreneurship and to understand difference between innovation and invention. A student who attended the workshop said, “I learned how to open my startup with confidence… I know who to reach out to and how to start an idea from zero and turn it into a business.”Read More »
Report Date: 4/9/2018
Technovation Training Seminar
Fellow(s): Darya Alontseva
Darya Alontseva, 2015 fellow of Kazakhstan, helped to facilitate a two-day training seminar for Technovation teams and mentors at D. Serikbayev East Kazakhstan State Technical University. The event was supported by U.S. Embassy Astana and funded by an alumni scholarship project “Support girls into STEM careers”.
More than 50 people participated in the initiative, which culminated in a pitch presentation to prepare girls to participate in the final stage of the Technovation competition. Six participating teams presented their projects and seven experts evaluated the presentations and provided feedback.Read More »
Report Date: 3/5/2018
Tech Girls Advocacy Program
Fellow(s): Carolyn Seaman
Carolyn Seaman, 2017 fellow of Nigeria and Founder of Girls Voices, recently brought together 100 girls for the organization’s Tech Girls Advocacy Program, a program that trains girls to use photography, computer coding, digital art, creative writing and filmmaking to champion advocacy for girls’ rights. The training resulted in the creation of a website, an app, comic strips, a short film, a research document and many photographs.
Carolyn is passionate about training young girls in tech skills because she believes that STEM has no gender and that for the world to optimize its potential, the brain power of girls cannot be neglected.Read More »
Report Date: 2/26/2018
Cartier Women's Initiative Awards
Fellow(s): Hanan Khader
Hanan Khader, 2013 fellow of Jordan, was named a finalist in the 2018 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. Designed to support women entrepreneurs, the awards were established in 2006 by Cartier, the INSEAD business school and McKinsey & Company. Hanan was selected because of her work on Hello World Kids, an online learning platform she launched to teach computer programming to children and adolescents across the Middle East.
Hanan was inspired to create the program after she saw the insufficient computer skills training being offered to her children at school. Understanding the need for the next generation to be adequately equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in the modern workforce, Hanan chose to dedicate her time to teaching children how to code and create technology. So far, the program has reached 40,000 chlldren. According to Hanan, “you never know, maybe one child that we reach out to can create the greatest idea and change the world for the better.”Read More »
Report Date: 2/19/2018
Fellow of Kazakhstan Featured in Forbes
Fellow(s): Anara Molkenova, Dina Shaikhislam, and Diana Tsoy
Cohort: 2015, 2017
Anara Molkenova, 2017 fellow of Kazakhstan, was featured in a Forbes Kazakhstan article this month highlighting young research scientists in the country. Anara holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan, and her research focuses on the development of energy storage systems.
Additionally, Anara and Dina Shaikhislam, also a 2017 fellow of Kazakhstan, have both volunteered as mentors for the
Technovation Kazakhstan 2018 program. Technovation is the world’s largest tech entrepreneurship competition for young women, offering girls around the globe the opportunity to learn the skills they need to emerge as tech leaders. The Kazakhstan chapter of Technovation was started by Diana Tsoy, a 2015 fellow of Kazakhstan, and has since grown to include hundreds of middle and high school-aged girls.
Report Date: 2/12/2018