Fostering enthusiasm in young girls for careers in science and technology was the focus for DigiGirlz 2014. The program took place at Nissan’s headquarters in Nashville, Tenn.
More than 100 high school girls attended the free event sponsored by Nissan, Microsoft and Middle Tennessee State University.
“Being here today is fantastic. It has allowed me to meet and connect with a bunch of different professionals and even people from graduate schools from various colleges. It is very nice and empowering to connect with these people, and to know that there are people out there, women in STEM fields, who are doing incredible things,” said Allison Baldwin, a DigiGirlz student attendee.
The inspirational Marlin Page, a motivational speaker and self-described online safety evangelist, delivered the keynote address. Page was introduced to a technology boot camp in her developmental years, which taught her to code in seven different languages in 13 weeks. Following that, in less than a year at the age of 25, Page was maintaining and developing software for the automotive and banking industry.
“I believe young girls need to be involved with STEM because technology can definitely transform their lives. Technology takes you to places where you have never been,” said Page. “Young girls are out there playing video games, on social media, and it is important for them to know that they can also create these things as well.”
Nissan’s Women’s Business Synergy Team (WBST) presented a $500 college scholarship at the event. Applicants provided a teacher recommendation, high school transcript and answered an essay question.
“For Nissan, this is a wonderful opportunity for us as employees to be able to give back directly to all of these girls who, at this point, are trying to figure out what they would like to do with their lives and careers,” said Trisha Jung, Nissan Dealer Operations. “We have a chance to help them explore all of these great concepts and help them to build confidence and vision that anything is possible for them.”