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Author's profile photo Maren Meyer

ForUsGirls & SAP Young Thinkers spark innovative creativity for our next generation of female leaders

In light of the International Women and Girls in Science Day on February 11, I would love to share the story on how the ForUsGirls foundation and SAP Young Thinkers collaborate to support our next generation of women! While A NEW REALITY: Tech Summit for Girls usually has been an energetic in-person event, the organizations came together to support young girls virtually.

The ForUsGirls Foundation is an international not-for-profit organization providing innovative, skills & leadership development programs & opportunities for underserved & underrepresented young womxn & girls aged 10-25. 2018, its Founder & President Aminka Belvitt created A New Reality: Tech Summit for Girls hosted by SAP Next-Gen during the last two years, in New York City at 10 Hudson Yards. Of course, 2020 was different and the concept to inspire young girls for tech had to be reimagined.

A NEW REALITY: Tech Summit for Girls is a social-tech innovation initiative to Spark Innovative Creativity in the minds of young women and girls from underrepresented communities, in New York City & area to consider careers in Tech & Entrepreneurship while prototyping design solutions for the UN 17 Global Goals.

The SAP Young Thinkers team was happy to support this aim. Two virtual workshop series were designed for the girls to learn coding with Java and to innovate around Snap! and sustainability. It consisted of 4 workshops with an increasing difficulty level of Snap! learning modules, ending up with a design thinking challenge and thought leadership session on environmentalism. Britteney Laurenceau, Program Coordinator for the ForUsGirls Foundation & A NEW REALITY, described it as following:

“The Young Thinkers Innovation series was a wonderful experience to witness how enthusiastic students ages 10 to 17 were to join and actively participate in a gaming and animation Snap! coding program, on a Saturday afternoon. The coding instructor, Alicia Weaver, was engaging, knowledgeable, and personable to all attendees, ensuring that they were grasping concepts and following her lead, as she went through the learning material in the sessions for “Coding with Snap!”. Even while this was a virtual series, it was still apparent that attendees were glad for an opportunity to learn and practice using Snap! coding, by creating images and playing games. Some even presented their final results at the end of each session. Brilliant! It was also great to have SAP Young Thinker engineers and developers join the sessions and support the attendees in the chat.”

A special shout-out is in place for our A NEW REALITY co-leads Alicia Weaver (picture top), Experimental Learning Instructor Lead (intern) & first-year Posse Scholar at Smith College as well as Janani Shivakuma (picture middle), the founder and president of Girls Play Global. Both did an amazing job setting an example for other girls and young women to concur their space in science and tech. Also thank you to our SAP co-leads Alexis Ewanovich, Jadga Huegle, Tori Moore and William Laverde who built bridges to our SAP world, showing how the girls could find their space in it.

Get inspired yourself by reading Tori´s words on why this work is so important. Maybe you will find your opportunity too to support our next generation in making their way?

“When I was growing up, there were not many programs focused on encouraging young women, let alone young women of colour, to experience and experiment with technology. Representation matters and children being able to see someone that looks like them not only interested in a field of study but actually making a career out of it, really helps them envision doing something similar for themselves. This was the main reason I jumped at the opportunity to work with the ForUsGirls organization. Being a co-lead in a workshop for their “Coding with Snap!” series, sponsored in partnership with SAP Next-Gen Young Thinkers, was truly an exciting opportunity. Connecting with the next generation of women in tech left me inspired and hopeful for the increased exposure of girls and young women to coding!”

Working with mentors like Tori Moore creates a greater impact for young women and girls as they see other women who look like them pursue computer science, business and innovation. The Young Thinkers & Innovators were truly inspired and benefited from their experienced:

“I really liked the react workshop and learning how to use the conditional blocks.”  Adriana, 15

“The presentation of this workshop was very well organized and planned, which was very useful as well as learning to do things independently by learning new skills.” Janelise, 12

The SAP Young Thinkers team is ready to collaborate for more opportunities like A NEW REALITY: Tech Summit for Girls, offering knowledge and skills for the girls to rise. Together, with other SAP teams like openSAP and our purpose driven team SAP4Good we thrive to come together supporting our next generation. With access to learning content, mentoring and volunteering for events and platforms to share new voices – let us all create a new reality for more women and girls in science.

Please feel motivated to comment on this blog posts with your thoughts, ask questions in the relevant tag Q&A area and follow our SAP Young Thinkers tag for more content around our next generation.

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      Author's profile photo Christiane Bauer
      Christiane Bauer

      Big THANKS to all Young Thinkers ambassadors, our Snap! architect Jadga and the ForUsGirls Team for this great cooperation and the impact which was created for our next generation! We need common activities like these to enable and prepare our young talents.