We just recently hosted our first #ItWasNeverADress STEAM Conference, and it was beyond anything I had hoped for. We brought in amazing speakers, educators and role models like David Dodge, Hilary Harp, Melissa Medvin, Evan Clark, Hilary Weber, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Kaitlin Vortherms, Lauren McBurnett and our own team (Tania Katan, Lawdan Shojaee, and myself, Sara Breeding) to give workshops and presentations on everything from Coding to Confidence Building. Our goal was to educate and inspire these girls to pursue STEAM fields. Looking back on the event, I think I learned as much from these girls as I hope they did from us.
I had the great honor of meeting a 14-year-old girl named Danielle Delgado. She told me about her dreams, goals, role models, and viewpoints. She also told me about the company she already started, where she makes 3D printed jewelry – you better believe I’m putting my order in! This girl has accomplished so much in 14 years, and I know she’ll go far with her big heart and big dreams. Here’s more of her story…
“When I was little I was lucky enough to be brought up shielded away from the world of discrimination. It never occurred to me that I was growing up in a world where gender and racial discrimination were taking place. When I started school I slowly learned that the world isn’t full of sunshine and lollipops. Thankfully, I have never been directly faced with either gender or racial discrimination. However, these issues must be acknowledged because every day I watch the news and injustice is plastered on the screen calling for people to stand up.
My passion for equality made me extremely excited to go to Axosoft’s #ItWasNeverADress Conference. During this past weekend, I learned ways to approach injustices and how to take action. I also met tons of girls and mentors who shared the same viewpoints on addressing gender discrimination and we all have/had dreams of working in STEAM careers. Having so much “girl power” in one room made me feel as if I was finally contributing to a better future. This weekend was eye-opening, it inspired me to take the message of #ItWasNeverADress everywhere I go, to continue striving for an equal society, and to keep pursuing a career in STEAM.
I hope young girls like me understand how important standing up for equality is and to not be scared to speak up. I am only fourteen years old, and I plan to use the rest of my life striving for a more technologically advanced and equal society.”
Danielle had a vision for the future before she came to Axosoft’s #ItWasNeverADress STEAM Conference, but the fact that we could create a judgement-free zone for her to share and learn and grow is so wonderful! She was able to motivate and inspire other girls who didn’t have the confidence or skills she does. Danielle’s story, along with the 53 other girls who attended, are a true testament to why we started the #ItWasNeverADress campaign.
I’m honored to be Danielle’s advisor so that I can help her plan and accomplish her goals throughout the year. I think I have a lot to learn from her too!
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