Iridescent's program gives high school girls the skills and confidence needed to succeed in computer science and entrepreneurship.
By Karen Holst (Co-Founder, Pick-A-Prof & VP Institutional Development, MyEdu)
While volunteering with Iridescent's Technovation Challenge, I would often come home from mentoring the group of teenage girls with a smile on my face and a fist pump in the air. "Finally!"
It seemed the only word that fit. Finally, a program for high school girls that exposes them to the startup world, teaches them what it takes to be a high-tech entrepreneur and gives them a glimmer of what they could grow up to become. It's the "confidence-building-change-your-life" experience fitting for any girl out there.
Don't you wish they had this when you were in high school?
Since the 10-week program ended a couple weeks ago, I have had time to consider the broad spectrum of high school personalities and came to this conclusion: whether she's a Texting Queen, MVP or Fashionista, this program is where the cool kids are.
The Texting Queen
She can text at 52 words-per-minute and started playing "Angry Birds" back when it was originally called "Poached Eggs" -- she is an early adopter with her smartphone as a lifeline. This hacker will salivate at the opportunity to learn about coding and what better way to challenge her than putting her in a group with other high school girls to add "teamwork" and "entrepreneurship" to her repertoire.
At the end of the program, the self-assurance she will gain from her group presentation in front of Silicon Valley VC's will carry with her for a lifetime. In time, she will go from LOL'ing to IPO'ing.
She loves spending time outside and dedicates hours to dribbling and passing on the soccer field -- she is a natural leader and passionate about her team. This sports enthusiast will love the opportunity to work with a team to invent and create an app. She can leverage her leadership abilities to organize and delegate tasks for the group and will learn new skills like how to create a business plan or design an app prototype.
Through the program she will come to realize that her natural abilities lend well to entrepreneurship and technology. Hello, future boss.
She is known for her fashion-forward attire and can tell you that floral print is the new black -- she blogs about beauty and loves to create. This outgoing shopaholic will gain new inner self-confidence when through the program she becomes an inventor, designer, builder and entrepreneur. She may be a natural programmer and even if not, she will be smarter for trying.
The experience will open her eyes to what she can accomplish and that science really is fun.
Take a look at the Glee cast and there isn't a character that wouldn't benefit from Technovation Challenge. It's a great program for every type but sorry boys, this club is for girls only.
About the guest blogger: Karen Holst is co-founding partner of Pick-A-Prof and current VP of Institutional Development at MyEdu, an online source to increase college success. Karen is an entrepreneur with 15 years experience in the higher education market and has a lifetime commitment to volunteerism and serving on nonprofit boards. Follow her on Twitter at @KHolst.