I decided to volunteer with YMCA Paisley because they empower young people through technology. They focus on providing youth-led and youth-focused sessions, which I believe is the most effective way to encourage our young people to become leaders and to believe in themselves.
Reflecting on my own learning experiences, I recognise that there is a gap between the skills gained in school and the demands of the economy. The YMCA fills that gap by giving young people the skills they need to empower themselves, and through their successes they help our community.
Working with the STEM Girls Club has been incredibly inspiring. It’s a privilege to work with the YMCA to empower young girls and encourage them to break gender barriers.
Through volunteering with the YMCA, and because of my studies, I have become more aware of digital exclusion and how prevalent it has become.
Digital exclusion is a global issue. It involves an imbalanced access to the digital world. In the UK, data shows that a significant proportion of the population is digitally excluded – either because they lack internet access or because they lack digital literacy.
Girls are more likely to be digitally excluded for a variety of reasons: fear of discrimination, beliefs that technology is ‘masculine’. Girls are also less likely to have access to technology in developing countries.
To achieve gender equality, it’s vital that girls have access to technology and to digital training. They also need to know how to be safe online.
We need to close the gender tech gap by empowering young girls. We need to promote female tech role models and create social policies that make STEM more inclusive.
Our young people are so innovative and creative. They bring such enthusiasm, wonder and positivity to the club.
I feel privileged to work with such a fantastic team. They are empowering, kind and talented. They go out of their way to help everyone. They are driven by a passion to help young people through technology. They’ve become like a second family to me.
Through the work that I do, I want to help young girls achieve their dreams. I know they can go on to create a world that is far more progressive, technologically advanced and kinder.
I hope they’ll go on to pursue STEM careers and know that no matter what they want to achieve, they can do whatever they put their minds to. I know they will continue to challenge stereotypes and champion diversity.