As with every Big Sister programme, watching the Little Sisters begin to realise their potential is always an incredible feeling. Last month, the Little Sisters from our current programme at Middleton Technology school took part in a workshop, hosted by technology firm UKFast, exploring how they can use social media to express their creativity.
Led by Sean Brown, the Manchester-based founder of eCommerce platform Mercarto, and an expert in the digital world, the afternoon involved presenting the girls with creative but challenging tasks that helped them realise how social media can be used in an influential and proactive way. Most importantly, it encouraged the girls to be outspoken, something that the Little Sisters took upon themselves to turn into a hashtag on social media after the workshop. The most exciting part of the day was the final challenge, as the winning team were offered the chance to take part in a work experience programme at UKFast.
Patricia Keating, who heads up UKFast’s Tech Manchester project, was thrilled to be part of the day. “It’s fantastic to see groups like Girls Out Loud engaging with the next generation of digital talent. It was hugely uplifting to see the girls really open up and demonstrate amazing creativity” said Patricia. “Pitching their ideas to senior members of the UKFast team took courage and they did an amazing job.”
It’s initiatives such as this that help to raise a teenage girl’s aspirations and their self-confidence. It’s amazing to see how much the girls came out of their shells over the course of just a few hours; those that wouldn’t put their hands up to answer a question ended up presenting their ideas on stage by the end of the afternoon. We need girls to be offered more opportunities that help them say “yes, I can do this!”. They need to know that the world really is theirs for the taking.