The Maricopa County Community College District main offices on March 25, 2020. (Photo by Monica Spencer)

Mesa Community College helps organize tech workshop for young women to learn about career and educational resources

The fifth ever Girls Get IT workshop will be held at Scottsdale Community College on Friday, Nov. 17 to bring junior high and high school students together with community college educators in the hope to bring the many tech related fields to young women across the state. 

The workshop is held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in a collaborative effort between  valley junior colleges Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Rio Salado College, Scottsdale Community College, Mesa Community College, and the Maricopa Information Technology Institute-East Valley at MCC’s downtown campus.

The workshop is also made possible by event sponsors Salt River Project, Microchip Technology, Nationwide, Center for the Future of Arizona, Infosys, and the city of Mesa Chamber of Commerce, according to the news release. 

The event will feature keynote speaker, Dr. Melanie Patton, the associate chief medical officer for HonorHealth.

Workshops throughout the entirety of the event will bring emerging technologies and their related educational pathways to the hands of female students from seventh grade to seniors in high school.

The technologies include IT related fields with growing demand such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, web and app development, and even media work in live streaming software, open broadcasting software, and animation software such as Blender 3D.

“There are so many exciting career possibilities available in IT today and this will only increase,” said Diane M. Meza, director of Maricopa Information Technology Institute-East Valley.

Approximately 200 high school students are expected to connect with 50 women working as professionals in the IT field in many jobs such as software engineers, web designers, program developers and data analysts.

The industry experts will provide the hands-on information in the workshops as well as engage with the community to “strengthen the talent pipeline for women in the field long-term,” according to the news release.

The program will initiate a learning experience for the high school students that will introduce them to sustainable careers.

“Girls Get IT helps showcase the many evolving areas of study and the professional women thriving in information technology careers today. Our goal is to encourage female high school students to pursue the next steps in their educational journey,” said Meza.

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