By Katie Morton
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Priyanka Chopra announced our formal partnership with Google Made with Code and UN Women at the Global Citizen Festival on September 24th.
A fitting venue for the occasion, the Global Citizen Festival was a celebratory event bringing thousands of people together to raise awareness of and advocate for the world’s most pressing social issues. Seven Technovation alumnae from New York City were invited by Google to take part in the festivities and help announce the launch of the new Technovation season. Given VIP status for the day, Technovation girls had a full agenda!
We started out the day in a black limousine which took us to the lunch spot Sugar Plumm. When we arrived, we entered a room full of 50+ teen girls from other coding organizations such as Black Girls Code, Code.org, CS Edge, Girls Inc. and Black Girls Rock. An uplifting and powerful way to begin the day, students had the opportunity to hear from women who made a career in technology and used code to change people’s lives.
After a full meal and large dessert buffet, we headed to Central Park to hear world-famous music artists. With a lineup including
big-name acts such as Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Usher, Ellie Goulding, and Demi Lovato among others, our girls were excited to say the least.
At 5:30, three of our girls (Natalie Essig, Isabelle Wood and Priya Mittal) went behind stage to wait before appearing alongside their peers and Priyanka Chopra; Indian actress, singer, and philanthropist. A staunch advocate for gender equality and education, Priyanka was a natural choice for championing girls in technology. While waiting to go onstage, Natalie, Isabelle and Priya met none other than Zac Efron and Bill Nye the Science Guy! After they came back, we learned that Priya even got several hugs from her role model, Priyanka Chopra herself.
Seeing our alumnae standing proudly in front of 60,000 people was both inspiring and empowering. United around creating positive social change through coding, they served a powerful reminder that passion fueled with creativity, curiosity, and perseverance can help make the world a better place.
Since our partnership with Google and UN Women was announced, we have already seen record numbers of students and mentors register for the season. We are optimistic and hopeful that with our partners’ help, we will be able to reach even more girls; inspiring and educating girls around the world to solve problems in their community using technology. Join us this season to Lead the Change.