Impact Stories from Youth Engagement Policy Area
Fellow delivers inspirational webinar to youth
Fellow(s): Sarah Abdallah
2016 fellow Sarah Abdallah delivered an inspirational talk at Inspire, a conference designed and presented by youth in Gaza. The conference was supported by Al Nayzak Organization for Supportive Education and Scientific Innovation and the UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People. Sarah is a program director at Anera, an organization that supports refugees in the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon and Jordan. She is also a lecturer at Saint Joseph University of Beirut, delivering courses in professional branding to the university’s engineering students. During her Inspire session, Sarah spoke about the future of jobs, the importance of professional branding and how people in vulnerable regions can remain motivated to succeed. Sarah, a new mother, also spoke about the stereotype that women cannot sustain both a family and career success. “What was important is maintaining the message of hope, as it is our only way to overcome all our current challenges and thrive,” she said.
Report Date...: 2/7/2022
Mentor and fellows collaborate to inspire students
Fellow(s): Eileen Brewer, Elena Selezneva, Ozoda Ismailova, Saida Yusupova, Amel Djenidi
Country: Algeria, United States, Uzbekistan
Cohort: 2016, 2018
Mentor Eileen Brewer traveled to Uzbekistan, collaborating with fellows to train and empower students throughout Tashkent. Eileen, the mentor manager at startup accelerator 757 Accelerate, first traveled to Uzbekistan with TechWomen as a delegate on the TechWomen 2019 delegation trip. Eileen was invited by American Councils for International Education to deliver two days of training for alumnae of their Young Professional Internships Program (YPIP), an initiative that connects young STEM professionals to internship programs at Uzbek businesses and organizations. Eileen invited 2016 fellow of Uzbekistan Elena Selezneva to support her with the training, collaborating to deliver workshops on entrepreneurship, design thinking, Lean Canvas and pitching. Eileen also visited a local IT park and incubator hub, speaking to girls ages 9-12 from a public school about ideation, design thinking and the Technovation program. There, Eileen was joined by 2018 fellow of Uzbekistan Yulduz Khudaykulova, whose daughter attends the school, as well as 2018 fellow of Algeria Amel Djenidi, who recently moved to Tashkent. Last, Eileen delivered an ideation training to girls from the Technovation program that was organized by Elena alongside 2016 fellows of Uzbekistan Saida Yusupova and Ozoda Ismailova.
Report Date...: 1/17/2022
Fellows collaborate for Turkmenistan’s first DevFest
Fellow(s): Maral Hudaybergenova, Natalya Tyudina
Country: Tajikistan, Turkmenistan
2018 fellow of Turkmenistan Maral Hudaybergenova organized Turkmenistan’s first-ever DevFest Ashgabat, a two-day event that brought together local developers for learning and networking. DevFest, a yearly conference focused on community-led learning on Google technologies, is hosted and locally curated by Google Developer Groups (GDGs) across the globe. Maral serves as the GDG Ashgabat lead, as well as the ambassador for Women TechMakers Ashgabat. She is also the chapter ambassador for Technovation, and last year launched the first season of the program in Turkmenistan. Maral invited 2018 fellow of Tajikistan Nataliya Tyudina, a cloud technology developer at Ericsson, to speak at the inaugural event, joining other technology leaders who presented on community-building, dev-ops, IoT and more. In her presentation, Natalya spoke about eXtended reality technologies and trends, sharing about AR, VR, MR and XR. Natalya focused on the accessibility of these emerging technologies, emphasizing that despite sounding “fancy,” they are easy to learn and deliver high-impact results. “It was one the most engaging presentations that I have done this year,” said Natalya. “I got a lot of questions from the participants, and the majority of people who were asking were females.” Since her talk, Natalya has connected with some of the women in attendance, sharing resources and suggesting courses for them to continue their learning.
Report Date...: 1/10/2022
Fellow wins Woman in Tech Award
Fellow(s): Sabina Nforba
2020-2021 fellow Sabina Nforba won the Woman in Tech Award at the Bonteh Digital Media Awards, recognized for her leadership in technology and for empowering the next generation. Bonteh Digital Media Awards is Cameroon’s first media and tech award ceremony aimed at honoring and amplifying leaders in the digital economy. Sabina is the co-founder and president of AfriTech Hub, an organization that empowers young students and women to pursue STEM education and STEM careers. The initiative has worked with 3,000 students through its clubs, workshops and summits, and recently held a training for girls in front-end coding, helping place them in internships at the bootcamp’s conclusion. Sabina also works in data analytics for i engineering Group, a Beirut-based telecommunications company. “It was an honor to receive the Woman in Tech Award,” wrote Sabina. “A big thanks to everyone who has supported me through the work we do at AfriTech Hub. There would be no award without you and this is dedicated to you. I hope this inspires you to dream and do! Start wherever you are, start today. I promise, the world will be thankful you did.”Read More »
Report Date...: 1/10/2022
Fellow joins U.S. Embassy’s Alumni Mentorship Program
Fellow(s): Ghada Amin
2018 fellow Ghada Amin was accepted as a mentor for the Alumni Mentorship Program, an initiative from the U.S. Embassy Cairo that empowers alumni of State Department-funded exchange programs to train and mentor others in their communities. The program, available in Cairo, Alexandria and Upper Egypt, seeks to connect alumni mentors and mentees from diverse fields to support mentees with their personal and professional goals.
In addition to working as an environment and compliance service manager, Ghada is an ambassador of sustainable development for Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, an initiative that seeks to build capacity around environmental sustainability. Last month, Ghada attended a three-day training that offered program mentors tools and best practices for optimizing the mentor and mentee experience. This month, she began mentoring five women in the fields of sustainable development, climate change and digital marketing; two of the women are undergraduate students, two are graduates and one is a high school student who is also an alumna of the TechGirls program. Ghada will mentor the women for three months, guiding them through challenges and offering her advice and expertise. “I’m so inspired by the program,” said Ghada. “I’m excited to mentor more people and give back to our community.”
Report Date...: 1/3/2022
Fellow featured in U.S. Embassy’s #30Years30Friends campaign
Fellow(s): Gulzire Minbaeva
2018 fellow Gulzire Minbaeva was highlighted in #30Years30Friends, a campaign from the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic that celebrates the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Kyrgyz Republic.
After visiting Khan Academy HQ during TechWomen 2018 Gulzire, a teacher and education advocate, became the official representative of Khan Academy in Kyrgyzstan. Since then, she has been featured for leading a team that is translating thousands of video courses to Kyrgyz available for free to students throughout Kyrgyzstan. In her #30Years30Friends spotlight, Gulzire shared how the TechWomen program supported her in achieving her dreams: “The TechWomen program is the best program aimed at developing the qualities of leadership, determination, risk, diligence and wisdom,” she said. “TechWomen taught me to look for opportunities, to recognize them and to use them properly. I learned to inspire myself, to always move forward and to achieve goals.”
Report Date...: 1/3/2022
Fellow named a 2021 InspiringFifty winner
Fellow(s): Rogeema Kenny
Country: South Africa
2015 fellow Rogeema Kenny was named an InspiringFifty winner, recognized for her leadership and commitment to inspiring women and youth. Established by CoCreateSANL, the Inspiring 50 list recognizes women in STEM fields that serve as role models and leaders in their communities. Through honoring women leaders, CoCreateSANL hopes to increase the visibility of diverse women in STEM and inspire girls to choose a STEM career.
Since TechWomen, Rogeema has led projects that introduced over 11,000 youth to coding. She is the founding director of Altelim, a non-profit focused on youth development, tech education and transfering knowledge to those most in need to effect social change. “I am driven by impact, and work tirelessly to get more young people and girls into STEM careers,” Rogeema said. “I use my platform to inspire people to go for their dreams and to believe that anything is possible.”
Report Date...: 1/3/2022
USALTech hosts the TechWomen/TechGirls Gathering
Fellow(s): Nisreen Deeb, Ghana Bteich, Lara Chikhani, Rasha Sukkarieh
Cohort: 2013, 2015, 2017
TechWomen and TechGirls alumnae hosted the TechWomen/TechGirls Gathering, a networking event that connected alumnae and invited local women and girls in technology to learn about the two programs. The gathering was organized by U.S. Alumnae for Lebanese TechWomen and TechGirls (USALTech), a club and online platform founded by fellows Nisreen Deeb (2013), Ghana Bteich (2015) and 2017 fellows Lara Chikhani and Rasha Sukkarieh, alongside TechGirls alumnae. With support from Legacy International, USALTech connects Lebanese exchange program alumnae, promotes opportunities for women and girls in STEM and encourages its members to share their skills and expertise.
The event, attended by the public affairs officer and cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy Beirut, introduced both the TechWomen and TechGirls programs to potential applicants, and invited each attendee to introduce herself and share her professional interests. “Instant connections were made,” said Nisreen. “Many ladies shared the same career paths. Some TechWomen were able to help many TechGirls on the spot.” After, the alumnae hosted a Q&A for both programs, answering questions about the applications and sharing their exchange experiences. Many of the women and girls also spoke about the challenges they face in Lebanon, and the group agreed to continue the conversation and help one another moving forward. “New connections and new bridges for support were made,” said Nisreen.
Report Date...: 12/29/2021
Fellows speak about EdTech at YALI Connect
Fellow(s): Horore Bebga, Angele Messa
Cohort: 2018, 2019
This month, 2018 fellow Horore Bebga and 2019 fellow Angele Messa were featured speakers at YALI Connect, a monthly event from the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), an initiative from the U.S. Department of State that educates and connects the next generation of African leaders. The event, themed on education, was hosted by the YALI Regional Leadership Center in Dakar, Senegal, a space that offers training to young leaders from 16 African countries. Horore and Angele are both YALI alumnae. Angele is the founder of EduClick, an EdTech platform that offers alternative learning methods for those who don’t have access to formal education in Cameroon. Horore is the co-founder of Likalo Education, a STEM education initiative that empowers young people with 21st century skills. Likalo’s newest platform, Cyber Muna, offers media and online safety education for children and educational institutions. At the event, Horore and Angele shared their experiences and challenges working in education and answered questions from YALI alumnae about women in EdTech. “Horore and I unanimously believe African women have their part to play in education in general,” said Angele. “We don’t only believe they have a part to play, we believe they are the main players in the field.”Read More »
Report Date...: 12/29/2021
Fellow highlighted in CNN feature for empowering women
Fellow(s): Durdona Bakhronova
2020-2021 fellow Durdona Bakhronova was featured in a story on CNN, highlighted for her work mentoring women and youth in IT. In the interview, This woman wants more female coders in Uzbekistan, Durdona spoke about starting her career in coding without role models: “There were so few female representatives,” she said. “I decided to change that.”
Durdona works as a frontend developer for Super Dispatch, and is committed to empowering women and young people in Tashkent to pursue STEM fields. As a mentor, she encourages women to create products for their communities from the female perspective: “So many men try to build a product for everybody, but half of the population is women,” she said. Through her advocacy, Durdona hopes to communicate that anyone can be a mentor and role model: “What I do is contribute to the community in the form of meetups, developer festivals, etc. Other than that, I’m just a simple software engineer who just wants more women in IT.”
Report Date...: 12/29/2021