Guest post by Karen Winkler, Technovation[MN] Board Chair, Mentors and Technology

I love math and I wanted my daughters to love math, so when they were in grade school I made sure they saw me in action as a ‘math-lete’ and enjoying the ‘game’. I’m also kind of a health nut, and I wanted my daughters to understand the importance of a healthy diet and exercise routine so I made fun, healthy meals, and they saw me going to the YMCA and train/participate in races.

When I was ready to change careers 20 years ago, I chose technology and never looked back. The jobs were plentiful, the pay was good and the work was and still is interesting and challenging. It makes sense then that when it was time for my daughters to begin considering future career choices, I find a way to help them see the possibilities in STEM, so I volunteered with Technovation[MN], first as a school mentor and then also as a board member. I was hoping to teach and inspire young women to consider their future as technology innovators. Little did I know that in return my own daughter would find a passion for innovation and the beautiful logic of coding, or that I would be inspired by young women on their journey to adulthood.

Tien VoNguyen inspired me last weekend when, during a Technovation hackathon at De LaSalle high school, I found out that she won an Honorable Mention for Aspirations in Computer Awards from NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology). Tien excelled during her first season in Technovation building her first mobile app that helped students make healthy snack choices. Since that first year, Tien has been asked to be a student ambassador for Technovation Global, joined the board of Technovation[MN] and decided to pursue a career in technology; all before graduating from high school!

Feel like being inspired today? Watch the interview with Tien (thank you to the folks at MentorMate!) and if you would like to get involved with Technovation[MN] and be inspired by these amazing young women as they demonstrate their mobile apps, sign up to volunteer for our Appapalooza celebration here.