The first annual Innovate for Good at Appalachian State University was held in July 2018. Forty participants took part in STEM activities such as Internet of Things, App Innovator, MIT Scratch Animation, and Robotics to come together and develop solutions to pressing social issues. Check below for highlights and program testimonials!
2018 Program Leaders:
- Aleah Brown: "My experience as a Program Leader/Near-Peer Mentor for the Innovate for Good Residential Camp was a great experience. I enjoyed teaching and exposing the girls to Animation/Coding showing them that coding can be fun. I enjoyed working with the campers, volunteers, and other Program Leaders. I enjoyed making new friends and memories. Being a Program leader/NPM has helped me to improve my leadership, communication, and responsibility skills. I learned how to execute a program. I even learned grant writing techniques and was awarded a grant for the program. I have been involved with the AspireIT programs for the last four years. I started as a camper. Being a part of this program has given me opportunities and scholarships. For example, I was awarded the 2018, 2017, 2016 National Center for Women and Information Technology awards (AspireIT Affiliate). I am fulfilling my dream, I am attending Savannah College of Art and Design pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Animation and a Minor in Graphic Design."
- Ambica Ramchandra: "I have absolutely loved my experience with the IT camp! It was the first camp of its kind that I attended in middle school. Learning about computers and the world of code was intriguing and has managed to keep me in a trance even now. Contributing to the IT camp as the Program Leader for the We Make IT program played a critical role in refining both my technical knowledge and leadership skills. Dr. Iyer has guided me multiple times as I maneuvered through the process. Hence, the outcome of our program was a success! Getting to mingle with university and work professionals was an attractive factor of the program that allowed me to expand my network, leading to endless opportunities."
Near Peer Mentor Testimonials:
- Maggi Mugi: "Working as an NPM this summer at the Innovate for Good Camp was one of the most unique experiences. I really enjoyed connecting with other young girls who are also interested in pursuing a career in the STEM Field. As a Session Assistant for MIT App Inventor, I found it awesome that these girls could easily grasp information and use it to develop a project involving a social issue. The final products turned out great and I'm certain that everyone loved experimenting with different programs. I would definitely recommend these girl's who attended the camp, to continue to come back and help inspire other young enthusiastic girls!"
- Kimberly Brown: "Volunteering as a Near Peer Mentor at the Innovate for Good program was such a rewarding experience. I loved being able to teach the girls about technology and its application in our world. It was amazing to see how the girls grew throughout the week in their leadership skills and their approach to challenging situations. One thing I enjoyed most was being able to connect with these girls. Being a Near Peer Mentor and being so close in age with these girls, I really felt like I could communicate easily with them and encourage them to learn new things. Volunteering with this program has also helped me be a better leader and has given me a way to share my knowledge with the community."