December 11, 2018

Dear DIY Girls Supporter,

For many people, the upcoming holiday season is a period for reflection. Our own DIY Girls family recently met to discuss the challenges we overcame and successes we have achieved as an organization.

 In 2018, DIY Girls gave 842 aspiring female engineers and computer scientists access to programs and activities that not only promote skill development, but also inspire girls to pursue degrees and/or careers in STEM-related fields. Our organization expanded its reach to three new school sites, and as a result of a generous contribution from the Eva Longoria Foundation, we launched a 3-year pilot at Girls Athletic Leadership School. DIY Girls is extremely excited about each of these new endeavors. We believe that establishing deeper and sustained connections with the girls we serve will play a significant role in increasing the number of women that enter the STEM workforce.

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Word-of-mouth has spread about our organization’s work to civic leaders, corporations, and foundations, which has allowed us to grow our network of partners and increase our visibility in the community. DIY Girls joined the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s WiSTEM L.A initiative. Its primary focus is to develop and empower female STEM leaders within Los Angeles through mentorship, networking, and community. We’ve established partnerships with Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft and Verizon. Their support contributed to our most successful Annual Cocktail Benefit to date, resulting in more than $70,000 raised towards our STEM-based programs.

DIY Girls took pivotal first steps towards positioning our organization for sustained long-term growth, beginning with the creation of an alumni-led leadership and support network. Our alumni are also continuing to give back to the community. Alumni like Patricia, who is now a sophomore studying Computer Engineering at California State University, Northridge and serves as a role model and instructor for our elementary school girls. In addition, we’re currently working with the Taproot Foundation to develop a new strategic plan that will serve as a roadmap for every facet of our organization, including strengthening our operating infrastructure, hiring staff to address areas of need, and increasing revenue to cover program costs.

   Valeria (Left) and Brandy (Right)

Valeria (Left) and Brandy (Right)

While I’m extraordinarily proud of everything DIY Girls was able to accomplish in 2018, nothing fills me with more joy than witnessing firsthand the impact we have on each of the girls we serve, such as Valeria and Brandy, who are both 7th grade students at Girls Athletic Leadership School and recently presented at the Eva Longoria Foundation’s 7th Annual Dinner Gala. Brandy’s parents emigrated from Central America and instilled in her a strong work ethic. “My dad wasn’t able to fulfill his dream of becoming an engineer, so he encourages us to work hard and make our dreams a reality,” Brandy said. “I have set my sights on attending Stanford or Harvard University.” Valeria was first introduced to engineering in Mexico, where she built bridges and other small structures as part of her school’s curriculum. Her participation in DIY Girls programming has helped nurture her interest in engineering. “I want to attend UCLA and become an engineer, so that I can support [my parents] and build them a house in a safer community, where kids like me can play outside without being afraid,” Valeria said.

As the year draws to a close, I ask that you show your support for DIY Girls by making a contribution towards our STEM-based programs. Please make your check payable to Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs/DIY Girls and mail your donation to P.O. Box 330662, Pacoima, CA 91333, or you can donate online at www.diygirls.org/donate. Together, we can create a future where more girls, unimpeded by their gender, race, ethnicity, and/or socioeconomic status, can become industry leaders in a growing STEM landscape.

Let’s show more girls like Patricia, Brandy, and Valeria that a future in STEM is within their reach!

Sincerely,

 Leticia Rodriguez Executive Director
 
 
 
 

Leticia Rodriguez
Executive Director