Meet Meriam! Meriam is a Student Ambassador in Tunisia. Meriam was already a very engaged member of her local community before becoming a Student Ambassador, and the skills and connections she developed through her community engagement were important tools for her this season. In 2016, Meriam participated in TechGirls, a summer program in Washington, DC for girls interested in STEM that also required Meriam to host information sessions when she returned to Tunisia. These information sessions helped Meriam develop her network further and reach more girls. Her connection to TechGirls also provides her access to the American corner (the US Embassy’s cultural center in her city), which provides her chapter with a place to meet for information sessions, workshops, and group discussions. Meriam also started a new Technovation club in her school and hopes to expand it further next year.
Of course starting a new club and recruiting and supporting 20 girls during the Technovation season didn’t come without challenges. Meriam found that girls struggled with finding time to work on Technovation around their busy schedules, as well as committing to such a rigorous project. Meriam also noted that many of the girls she worked with were hesitant to try coding, but with additional encouragement from her they were able to face their fears and tackle the challenge. Overall Meriam greatly enjoyed being a Student Ambassador this year, despite these challenges. “Being a student ambassador was the highlight of my school life and technovation participation. I LOVED the interaction with the young girls full of energy and inspiration which pushed me to do my best in sharing my knowledge with them and building a stronger local community of girls for a change.”