(San Francisco, CA – March 20, 2019) – Women’s Audio Mission (WAM), a San Francisco-based nonprofit that uses music and media to attract women and girls to creative technology studies/careers, today announced the opening of a new pop-up training location in San Jose at The Tech Museum of Innovation in the fall of 2019. WAM provides free after-school training and mentoring to over 2,000 women and girls each year (96% low income, 91% girls of color) in the only professional recording studios in the world built and run by women. In 2017, WAM opened a new training center in Oakland due to increasing demand for their training programs, and is now facing rising demand in the South Bay. This pilot program will be the first time WAM is bringing their award-winning Girls on the Mic program for underserved middle school girls to the South Bay, a program studied by the White House Office of Social Innovation.
WAM is among the first-ever of Intel Foundation’s She Will Connect award recipients in California. She Will Connect supports outstanding programs that aim to close gender gaps in technology and inspire future innovators through connecting women and girls to economic and social opportunities. The purpose of Intel’s She Will Connect program is to increase the number of middle school girls pursuing technology-related studies by the time they reach high school and to ignite collaboration within and outside of school program leaders, educators, families, and communities.
With the Intel Foundation’s support, WAM’s new classes will be offered at The Tech Museum in downtown San Jose, which will give WAM a special platform and innovative learning environment for the girls they serve. The Tech Museum, a family-friendly interactive science and technology center, has become a landmark for visitors seeking a glimpse of the most inventive place on Earth — Silicon Valley. It is a valued community resource for education and innovation, one that in 2015 was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest honor a United States museum can achieve.
“The Tech is committed to inspiring the innovator in everyone and is proud to partner with Women’s Audio Mission to bring their highly regarded engineering program to girls in our community. The Girls on the Mic program fits with our experiences and exhibits that inspire more young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Gretchen Walker, Vice President of Learning at The Tech.
Together, Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) and The Tech will engage girls with creative, hands-on technology and engineering learning experiences to inspire the next generation of innovators. WAM’s Girls on the Mic program will reach a group of 60-80 underserved middle school students from the lowest income school districts in Silicon Valley. The goals of the program include sparking an interest in creative technologies in underserved girls, building their confidence, and inspiring them to pursue courses and future careers in technology, engineering, and/or computer science fields.