By Ciara O'Donoghue, WiSci STEAM Camp participant
As a rising sophomore at the Madeira School near Washington, DC, I'm anxiously counting down the days to begin my WiSci Girls STEAM camp adventure and pondering the possibilities of this experience. It's always been my desire to use my talents and gifts to make a difference and change the world. For my high school education, I chose to attend the Madeira School due to their mission "launching women who change the world" and joined the Girl Up club at Madeira because I wanted to be a part of this movement to change the world so that it's a better place for girls everywhere. What an incredible opportunity it is to attend this camp in its inaugural year and share my passion and talent for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Art and Design (STEAM) with like-minded girls from Africa and create possibilities to improve girls' lives, promote gender equality and entrepreneurship, be a global leader, and make a difference!
While I have never been to Africa, my family has hosted girls from the township of Winterveld in South Africa. What struck me about getting to know these girls is how similar our aspirations are despite the differences in our backgrounds, communities, and cultures. I anticipate a similar experience with my fellow campers from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. In addition to strengthening my STEAM skills, I look forward to making lasting friendships and being part of a network of girls who can collaborate and share their creative ideas to "be the change you wish to see in the world". I look forward to being moved, touched, and inspired by the educational, cultural, and personal experience. After attending the camp, I intend to share what I've learned with my fellow Girl Up members and the greater Madeira community and be an advocate for my sisters around the world.
When I return home, I will be an ambassador for this program at Madeira and advocate for projects that foster collaboration between my school and the schools of my new friends. My hope is to establish sister school partnerships between our schools and to work with both communities to design STEAM related projects to mentor, collaborate, and share ideas and improve girls' lives. I want to build a bridge between both communities, where the benefits of technology, resources, and peoples willingness to help are shared with our sisters globally.
We all know that when girls are empowered through access to education, mentorship opportunities, and leadership training, the possibilities are endless! Rwanda and the 2015 WiSci Girls STEAM camp, here I come!!
Ciara O'Donoghue is a Madeira Snail hailing from Potomac, Maryland with a passion for life, learning & making a difference.