CompuGirls volunteer combines profession and passion to improve lives of young women
It’s not often people have the opportunity to connect professional skills with their personal passions. Eshe Pickett, a design automation engineer at Intel, believes that volunteering with CompuGirls is an opportunity to change the world, "one girl at a time." Pickett not only enjoys her job, she enjoys the unique opportunity to combine her professional skills with her passion for impacting the lives of young women.
The CompuGirls program is a social justice technology program for middle and high school girls. Girls from under-resourced school districts in the Greater Phoenix area have the opportunity to attend summer and after-school classes where participants learn the latest technologies in digital media, games, and virtual worlds and become a voice for social justice and change in the world.
According to Pickett, "the most exciting time for me is to see the ‘lights go on’ for the girls. I read the entrance essays, most of these students are only consumers of technology, they have never used computers to create anything. When that light bulb goes on and they realize...I can actually create something that could impact the world…that’s when the fun really begins."
Exposing girls to technology
The CompuGirls program is funded by the National Science foundation as well as support from companies such as Intel and community volunteers. As part of the program, the girls tour various companies around the valley to learn about the day in the life of an engineer.
In Pickett’s words:
"I enjoy exposing these girls to technology...helping them connect to the real world. Every year the students attend a field trip to Intel. Many of these students are first generation high school graduates which makes my engagement especially exciting. Often times I can help them understand the unlimited possibilities of pursuing a degree in engineering. While at Intel, the students tour the campus, participate in hands-on activities, and listen to engineers share their personal stories."
"Another great aspect of the program is the use of peer mentors. Former students return from college to share their success stories and encourage the new cohort to continue with their journey. The primary focus of this program is not only teaching the girls to be creators, innovators, and activators, it’s to teach the girls that they can do what they dream. I truly feel that my engagement helps to enlighten and inspire them...to dream that college is the opportunity to change their world."
"My engagement with CompuGirls gives me the feeling that I can change the world one girl at a time. To work for a company like Intel that allows me the flexibility to pursue my passion and encourage girls to become engineers, inventors, innovators, or creators...well that opportunity is just priceless."
Intel is helping girls and women fulfill their individual potential to inspire positive change in their families and communities around the world. Pickett’s experience with CompuGirls is just one of thousands of examples of Intel employees impacting girls in their community.