@StateDept Preps for Inaugural @TechGirls Exchange

Posted by Ann Stock
June 22, 2012

I am thrilled to be welcoming the first-ever class of TechGirls to the United States next week! TechGirls connects and supports the next generation of women in technology sectors by providing them the access and opportunity needed to pursue higher education and eventually careers in technology. We've got an exciting program in the works and are grateful for the support from the technology community.

Building on the State Department's landmark TechWomen program, TechGirls brings teenage girls ages 15-17 from the Middle East and North Africa to the United States for a three-week exchange. The girls will travel to Washington, D.C. and New York City for workshops and visits with a broad range of American innovators, including technologists from Development Seed, the DC Digital Divas Dinner, Facebook, Frontline SMS, George Washington University Hospital, Google, iStrategy Labs, and the Youth & Media Lab at the Berkman Center for Internet at Harvard University. The State Department is also pleased to have the collaboration of the White House for our TechGirls program.

While in Washington, D.C., the girls will take part in a two-week computer and technology camp where they can learn about game design, technology, media and graphics, and programming. The TechGirls will also engage with Americans through home hospitality and community service projects.

The inaugural class of 25 TechGirls hails from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Tunisia, and Yemen. Their career goals range from genetic engineering to telecommunications to astrophysics, and their tech backgrounds comprise everything from high school science fairs to university-level coursework.

When the participants return home, they'll develop tech training for their peers to keep "paying forward" their experiences in the United States. We couldn't be more excited for their arrival -- or to find out what they accomplish in the future.

Join the conversation on Facebook and follow @TechGirls on Twitter!

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