Mayor Andy Berke on Friday will join Associate Principal Maryo Beck at Girls Leadership Academy to commemorate the successful computer-based after school program PowerIt Up.
Officials said, "It showed complete community participation as several local businesses supported the initiative. The hope is that PowerIt Up helps high school students find employment for girls while still in school using their design skills.
"Funded by The UnFoundation, PowerIt Up aims to target the scarcity of females in STEM fields and the disparity between school system education and applicability in the real world. The program integrates STEM skills into the girls’ education and also allows the girls to utilize their skills to earn a wage."
Graphic design majors instructed high school girls at Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy basic skills with Adobe In Design. After sessions were completed, the girls were connected with local companies as independent contractors. Each student received a publication project for the company. After the complete their design, they will submit it to the corporation and every time it is used, the girl will receive pay. The designers volunteered their time for free.
Companies that participated include St. Nicholas School, Way Paver – LampostGroup, and Chattanooga’s own The Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders. Cube Printing, a local printing service, was also very supportive. Other supporters include Reginald Smith with the Hamilton County Department of Education.
The girls will be given a certificate of completion from Global Excel. Along with the certificate, the girls will also be given gift cards to be used for educational purposes.
Anjali Chandra, a junior at Girls Preparatory School, began Global Excel, a non-profit dedicated to providing underprivileged children with the skills they need to succeed, when she was 11. She wants this program to continue and grow: “It has potential for the community and some of the top private schools to take ownership and make a difference in the immediate area” said Chandra.
Over the past year, she has realized that she can empower the girls of Chattanooga. Chandra’s PowerIt Up program aims to help literacy as well as female empowerment in the computer and educational worlds, it was stated.