13 September 2016

The voice of an empowered girl: WiSci STEAM Camp 2016

By Inés Rénique, WiSci Camp Counselor and Girl Up Teen Advisor alumnae.

WiSci STEAM Camp 2016 brought together girls from Peru, Chile, Mexico and the United States. These girls were between the ages of 14-18, and had one major thing in common: a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts, and/or mathematics. Each girl had a different story as to why she was at this summer camp in Peru. But they had all come together to learn from the experts, about the subjects they love. The young women that participated were empowered, motivated, and ready to take on the challenges ahead of them. 

Empowerment and education are two pillars Girl Up advocates for on a daily basis. And that is a big part of what Girl Up most contributed to the camp. While campers were learning science and technology from the experts of Intel and Google, they were also partaking in Girl Up workshops. With subjects ranging from communication strategies, to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to advocacy and philanthropy. 

Girl Up's core mission falls in line with that of WiSci STEAM camp. Girl Up engages girls to take action. And that is exactly what campers have been doing, and continue to do after camp. Take action towards improving their communities, and ultimately, the world. Participants continue on to develop what they began at camp. Whether it be by expanding on their technology final projects, or starting a Girl Up club at their own schools, the call to action does not fade as the campers head home. 

The final day of camp, featured many teary eyes, fond goodbyes, letters, notes, and "see you soon"s. But while of course it was sad to be separated from all of these new friends, at the same time there was a sense of underlay excitement. Excitement over what would be coming next. What each camper would do with all of the knowledge she had gained in those two weeks. And that excitement is still there, as girls begin to organize their own Girl Up clubs, advocate for more science courses at their schools, or stand up for women in science. Ultimately, although camp may have come to an end, the call to action continues to resonate. 

This blog was first published on Girlup.org. Girl Up is a campaign of the United Nations Foundation.