Connecting People through Technology

This article was written by NGCP's Outreach Coordinator Intern Sasha Sleiman.

People commonly say “its all about who you know” when discussing how to succeed. In this world where there are so many options and methods to connect with people, the mode that has all but taken over many of our lives in the last few years is social media. Companies, organizations, celebrities, CEOs, politicians, and even government organizations can now speak directly to their consumers, patrons, fans, voters, and friends using 140 characters on Twitter or posting to Facebook. With the FabFems project I have been able to witness the impact of this ‘new’ mode of communication through our social media outreach campaigns to connect women in STEM careers to girls all over the US who are curious about and interested in pursuing careers in this competitive field.

FabFems

As the outreach coordinator I worked closely on the FabFems project, specifically finding ways to engage our current FabFems using Twitter and Facebook. Having the opportunity to interact with fabulous women in STEM through social media was a refreshing wake-up call that there are so many resources out there, and not just material ones, but people! For girls thinking about entering STEM fields it is so important for them to see and hear from women who have already done what they want to do, to show them the way, and to show them they too can succeed. Many girls may not have access to women like these FabFems in their communities, but the online database allows them to virtually meet and exchange ideas with women all over the country. The outreach we do through social media involving these women really does have an impact on the young women they inspire and mentor into a field in much need of female voices.

FabFems Grid

Social media provides us the space to create communities to share knowledge, lessons learned and best practices. Through campaigns such as our Mentoring Month outreach highlighting FabFems throughout the month of January, or our outreach for Women’s History Month in March where we featured women in STEM throughout history and FabFems, we are bringing women and girls with similar interests together to connect and share.

Sasha Sleiman

Connections are so important to building community and to helping others succeed. Today’s technology allows us to create a community of professionals in STEM fields who can directly impact the lives of girls in their own community or girls on the other side of the country. Connecting people to resources helps them be better equipped to foster their community and their relationships. If there is one thing I learned working with NGCP and FabFems, it is that it really is all about who you know and it has been an honor to help connect people who can make a positive difference in each others’ lives.

Sasha Sleiman, Outreach Coordinator, started with the National Girls Collaborative Project in August. She recently completed her Master’s degree in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.