On Saturday, I had the opportunity to volunteer at She Started IT—an action-packed event for girls in grades 6 through 10 interested in technology and entrepreneurship. The event was organized by UB's Blackstone LaunchPad in collaboration with numerous Western New York community partners, including ACV Auctions, Ingram Micro, and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. The girls in attendance arrived ready to learn and explore, and the day kicked off with an awe-inspiring presentation from Tamara McMillan. The events that followed included a presentation on stage presence from Kelly Copps of Second Generation Theatre, an ideation session with Miriam Kelley of Engineering for Kids, and an opportunity to interact with community partners—building and racing cars made from water bottles with the awesome ACV Auctions crew was a crowd favorite. Among the highlights was the pitch competition, which the girls worked on in teams from start to finish and presented to the volunteer judges. At the end of the day, it was announced that my group of girls—Group 8—had won the pitch competition with their invention of the "Ultimate Stuffy Coat"! It was a touching moment to see the girls so excited and proud of themselves. If you have daughters, nieces, or anyone else in your life that might be interested in attending next year, I highly recommend it. Photo courtesy of Melodie Rote-Nowicki.
Inspired by the documentary directed and produced by Nora Poggi that bears the same name, the She Started IT event is designed to encourage teenage girls to explore careers in the world of technology, computers and entrepreneurship.