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Your ticket to Podcamp East will go to this year’s charity recipient: TechGirlz. What is TechGirlz, you ask? Gloria Bell, one of the TechGirlz volunteers, shared this with us:

Having grown up with an interest in computers, but no real visible path to a career in tech and no one to really encourage me to head that direction, TechGirlz is the organization I wish had existed when I was in middle and high school. The IT field is the nation’s largest industry, but startling research shows that although there are many tech-savvy young girls in America many are opting out of pursuing a career in technology, making women the minority in the IT field. TechGirlz is here to inspire young women to shatter the statistics.

TechGirlz provides adolescent girls with programming to show them that a future in technology does not necessarily equate to a “boring computer job” but instead transcends the cubicle into nearly every field imaginable. By encouraging young women to participate in science and technology today, as well as providing a solid foundation of peers, mentors and positive role models, TechGirlz hopes to spark innovation, exhilaration and motivation in young women to become tomorrow’s tech leaders. In addition to their local, in-person programming, TechGirlz is building an online community to reach more young girls regionally and beyond.

When Founder, Tracey Welson-Rossman first began talking about TechGirlz, I, and several others, committed to doing anything and everything we possibly could to help her make this endeavor succeed. And succeed it has, already beyond anything we could have imagined in those first few conversations. One of the teams going to the FIRST robotics World Invitational Open consists of five TechGirlz. The girls in the program have built their own websites, learned 3D gaming and built their own electronic jewelry. The girls are learning that gender barriers do not have to exist in any industry. They can love and learn anything. More importantly they are learning that there are no limits to what they can do. We can not give our young women any more important lessons than these.

It is hard to find the words to describe watching a young woman’s face when they solve a problem on their own, find the perfect theme for the website they just built or get to play the video game they designed. It is like they know, they can feel, that all the doors in the world have opened for them. The only thing holding TechGirlz back from impacting more young women’s lives is more funding and awareness. Since the Delaware Valley is one of the fastest growing tech communities in the country, we are calling on that community and everyone who believes in empowering young women to be the future tech leaders, to rally around TechGirlz, raise money and awareness for them.

Our call to action is simple – Invest in the future of the next generation and the future of technology.