Apply for the US Department’s TechGirls Program for Next Generation of Women Leaders in STEM

Background

TechGirls connects and supports the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by providing them access and opportunities to advance their skills and pursue their dreams.

Since 2012, TechGirls trained and mentored 186 teenage girls (ages 15-17) from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, and Yemen.  The core of the program is a three-week experience in the United States.  In 2019, the program expands to include 24 young women from Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.)

TechGirls participate in an interactive technology and computer camp (with US Girls), join a tech company for a day of job shadowing, and participate in community service initiatives. There is a TechGirls multiplier effect – inspiring others in their local community to pursue Stem.

TechGirls is packed with skill-development workshops and interactions with America’s most innovative tech professionalsas well as 45 hours of study at a Tech Camp with our partner the Center for Enhancement in Engineering Diversity at Virginia Tech.  The TechGirls program offers  a rich cultural immersion experience, improves the participants’ ability to enter tech fields and encourages them to pursue higher education in fields where women are under-represented.

TechGirls is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations.  The program is administered by Legacy International.

What To Expect

As a TechGirl, you commit to 8 months of leadership training and join an alumni network of TechWomen and TechGirls that will support you as you plan your higher education, careers and community-based projects.

TechGirls will:

  • Challenge themselves with new questions and concepts
  • Learn coding and tech skills from enthusiastic university professors
  • Network with influential industry leaders
  • Discover their own innovative leadership style
  • Create meaningful friendships with young women from all over the MENA region and the USA
  • Explore the diverse communities of Washington, D.C. and southwest Virginia
  • Inspire the next generation of women and girls in their home countries

Your U.S. program begins with group international travel with your fellow participants from your country with a flight escort. Meeting all the other young women selected from across your region is the first inspiring element to the program.

Legacy International staff provides 24-hour supervision and a safe and secure environment.

Selection Process

TechGirls participants are selected based on the eligibility requirements below. Independent selection committees composed of industry leaders and regional experts review applications. United States Embassy personnel in your country of permanent residence  interview semifinalists.

2019 Eligibility Requirements

Students eligible to apply are those who:

  • Are from one of the following eligible countries:
    • United States
    • Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia;
    •  Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan
  • Are between the ages of 15 and 17 at the start of the exchange;
  • Have demonstrated advanced skills and a serious interest in technology, engineering, and/or math in their academic studies;
  • Intend to pursue higher education and/or careers in technology;
  • Have strong English language skills;
  • Exhibit maturity, flexibility, and open-mindedness;
  • Will attend at least one additional semester of secondary school upon their return to their home country; and
  • Are committed to completing a community-based project upon their return home.
  • Preference will be given to those who have limited or no prior experience in the United States. You are not eligible if you have travelled to the United States in the last three years as part of any other ECA exchange program.

Please note that family members of U.S. Embassy or Consulate staff or U.S. Department of State employees are noteligible to apply.

TechGirls encourages people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including individuals with disabilities.

Selection Timeline

The 2019 TechGirls application opened on December 1, 2018  and closes at 09:00PM EST on February 1, 2019. Semifinalists will be contacted via email in/around March 1 for the next stage of interviews. Final decisions will be made in mid-April.  All applicants will be notified of the results of their application.

For more information about this opportunity and to apply, visit the official website here

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