This is a guest post from the 2017 WiSci Girls STEAM Camp which took place in Malawi, Africa. WiSci is a public-private partnership effort between Girl Up, the U.S. Department of State, Intel, Google, NASA, and other partners.
By: Salimata Ba, 15, Zambia
Participating in the WiSci Camp has been one of the best experiences of my life. Being among 100 campers from different parts of the world has enlightened my mind and alerted my reasoning to social realities. Having classes with influential organisations in the technology industry has been incredible. Google has programmed my mind, Intel has computerized my world, the American Society for Microbiology has made me see life from a different perspective and NASA was undeniably out of this world.
Making friends and learning how they interact and socialize in their own country has also widened my perspective greatly. It has given me the much-needed understanding of other countries way of life and I am grateful to have found a family away from home. My cohort classes are wonderful, they have become my safe space where am free to express my views about life’s sensitive issues like positive body image and stereotypes. I find myself looking forward to cohort class every day.
My favourite classes so far have been with Google and Intel. I have always taken great interest in programming and software development and recently I changed my career path to software engineering. Being taught by major organisations has been a dream come true for me. I have paid unwavering attention in these classes learning and understanding the concepts of computer technology further. I am now encouraged even more to have seen successful female software engineers and I know I can do it too. I believe camps like WiSci are heaven sent to empower girls who are struggling with the influence from the media, society, and the world. It has helped me to train my inner voice to speak out about issues that matter to me and affects my community. When I go back to Zambia I want to make a difference. I am going to start a Girl Up club at my school and I hope to teach my peers all the knowledge and skills I have acquired and to learn from them as well. I strongly believe that to inspire one young mind is to take a step to a better future.