On March 7, 2017 I had the honor of being the opening speaker at Tech Savvy at Jamestown University. The program was a day-long event full of speakers and activities for 250+ area girls to learn about S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) careers. I was asked to speak because I had grown up in Jamestown, ND and have received international recognition in graphic design specifically targeting stereotypes for girls.
My presentation was entitled "Not A Covergirl" and I talked about the high points in my career but also backed it up with the work behind the scenes that made it happen. I talked about my top three goals I had as a senior in high school and what it took to achieve them:
1. Be a creative for Disney
2. Work for Lucas Films
3. Meet Steven Tyler
I explained how I applied for seven semesters to work for Disney, how I started out working in the parks, and how I never did land a full-time position after all the work I put in. I also explained how going viral with my Girl's Life post was a byproduct of hard work and consistently sharing my work.
I wanted to drive home that you can do anything you want as a girl. And that integrity, hard work, and following your passion wherever it leads is the new 'Covergirl' that we can all aspire to. The reason my Girl's Life cover went viral is because the world holds these values in high regard and the serendipity that has happened in my career is based on practicing those values.
After my presentation I had girls come up and speak with me. Sharing their hopes and dreams and told me I was "inspiring." (I melted into a puddle right then and there. Mission accomplished.) I hope I was the person that I would have loved to hear from at that age.
After the presentation the girls split up into sessions across campus. They chose different topics such as "Feeding the World," "Rockets to the Rescue," "Playing with Polymers," and more. I checked out one of the sessions and the work they were doing was amazing!
A HUGE thank you to AAUW for inviting me. I was so nervous to speak but it was a wonderful experience. Also a HUGE thank you to all the volunteers that made this day possible. I know I would have loved an event like this growing up. I can't wait to see what these girls accomplish!