The following information is directly from the nonprofit ITWomen of South Florida, founded by senior women in technology and engineering serving the tri-county area:
The shortage of mentors is often cited as the principal reason there is a dearth of young women pursuing careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). ITWomen, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of girls and women in the fields of technology and engineering, has launched a virtual mentoring program to respond to this critical need. The ITWomen Virtual Mentoring Program invites women working in information technology and engineering to help make a difference in the careers of several aspiring young women who have already benefited from scholarships from the organization and are currently enrolled in college pursuing a technology or engineering degree.
The ITWomen Virtual Role Model program pairs scholarship awardees with professional females currently working in the field they are pursuing or one closely related. The expectation is that the individual assigned will be a source of motivation and guidance as these young women strive to complete their college degrees. Since the program is virtual, there are no geographical limitations and mentees will be able to communicate with their mentors utilizing communications technologies widely available today, such as Facetime and Skype.
The organization is currently seeking additional women who work in information technology or engineering to participate as mentors. Candidates need only complete a Virtual Mentor profile form found on www.itwomen.org to be matched up to one of the ITWomen scholarship recipients.
“The positive impact of being an ITWomen Virtual Role Model Mentor is inestimable,” said Victoria Usherenko, President of ITWomen. “The guidance these young ladies receive can make all the difference, as we’ve seen with our many recent graduates.”
Since the scholarship program was launched in 2004, ITWomen has awarded more $328,000 in scholarships to 67 deserving young women across the tri-county area.