Since 1998, Napa County Branch is proud to have sponsored 75 young women to attend Tech Trek, a math and science camp for girls finishing 7th grade. Four of our branch members have been dorm moms at Sonoma State, UC Davis and Stanford camps. Our members say it was an enriching and incredible experience, just one of the many benefits from belonging to a community of women who work to break down educational and economic barriers for women and girls.
Our members and the community raise money each year to send as many girls as we can to these camps on California University campuses because we realize it makes a difference in these girls’ lives. We know that if one of our Napa County young girls has a passion for science and/or math and attends one of these camps, there is over a 50% chance she will choose a career in science, math, technology or engineering. 69% of our young women say Tech Trek increased their self-confidence and 79% have continuously earned above a 3.33 GPA in their high school years.
It has been an exciting 2015 and 2016 for our branch and our selection committee. Thanks to the generosity of our members’ donations and The Author’s Forum event, we were able to send 6 girls to Tech Trek in 2015 and will send 8 girls to Tech Trek in the summer of 2016. Dedicated branch committee members coordinated by Pat Parker, interviewed 20 young women from eight Napa County middle schools. Each girl was recommended by a teacher and submitted an application and essay. Girls selected for the 2016 UC Davis camp are Morelia from Harvest, Karina from American Canyon, Mikah from Stonebridge and Meredith from River. 2016 Sonoma State University campers are Janeth from Silverado, Destiny from Harvest, Sharon From Robert Lewis Stevenson and Mariana from Redwood.
Special thanks are extended to Julie and Robert Yocum for donating books to all 22 applicants. The girls should enjoy their Playbook for Teens: Meet Fascinating Women in STEM.
We are planning to attend the visitation day at each university campus this June and July and look forward to seeing our girls in action. September 17, 2016 will be our branch general AAUW meeting where each girl will talk about her life-changing camp experiences. Esther, Tech Trek camp alumnae, Tech trek junior camp counselor and junior science major at UC Berkeley will be our keynote speaker. Esther says she is especially thankful to the Napa County AAUW for her sponsorship to Tech Trek and was instrumental in her decision to study Chemistry.
So Tech Trek does make a difference in these young girls’ lives and it is a fun and rewarding community partnership project. If you would like to join our committee contact Pat Parker at 707-253-7472 or email at email@example.com.