What do you think of when you think summer?
Ice cream, sunscreen, and long hot days are probably on your list. For YWCA Lancaster, summer means community, creativity, and empowerment.
This year, we were proud to offer two free opportunities for female-identifying students in Lancaster to come together, learn through play, and develop new skills. We had an amazing turnout, and were so happy to be able to see so many community members this summer!
Empowerment Day Camp
Hosted through our Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center, we were excited to bring back Empowerment Day Camp by popular demand! Empowerment Day Camp was a unique experience covering topics and activities focused on empowerment, identity, activism, dealing with stress, self and body love!
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In addition to fun activities, students also created an interactive art project with the help of local artist Keisha Finnie, who guided the participants through an exercise on self reflection and self confidence, with beautiful results!
TechGyrls seeks to empower young female presenting individuals in technology, engineering, arts and math and to encourage them to pursue careers within the STEAM fields.
While female presenting individuals make up 29% of the STEAM workforce, BIPOC individuals only make up 4.87%. TechGYRLS youth empowerment program aims to build interest and confidence within these critical areas.
As part of the program, students participated in fun activities focused on current and future technology about sustainable food production. As part of a final project, participants created plans to build their very own colony on Mars!
We would like to extend a special thank you to Arconic for their vital support for TechGyrls, as well as Picterra for generously loaning their detection software which was used in our lesson about machine learning and satellite data. We would also like to thank the The Smithsonian for sharing aerial images of the Serengeti and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory for sharing their concept art related to sustaining plants on Mars. TechGYRLS participants used the Picterra deep learning software to detect animals living in Maasai Mara National Reserve and were fascinated and motivated to create their own concept for Mars-based agriculture for future colonization from the JPL.
We are excited to see what the future holds for our amazing TechGyrls!
On a Mission
The YWCA Lancaster strives to provide high quality, affordable, childcare and learning experiences for the next generation of thinkers, do-ers, and leaders! We were so honored to share these experiences with you this summer, and can’t wait for 2023!