ChickTech Runs on Volunteer Passion · Happy Volunteer Appreciation Week!
ChickTech prides itself on being a volunteer-driven organization. Our volunteers help us empower girls, women, and non-binary people of all ages in countless ways. They breathe life and love into every ChickTech event, program, and organizational decision, working alongside our small but mighty staff team. In fact, we’re proud to say that we received over 200 new volunteer sign-ups in the last year! We’re excited to take this opportunity to say thank you to our hundreds of active volunteers—and the thousands who have donated their time, expertise, and passion across ChickTech’s ten years of impact.
Here are a few ways our volunteers have made an impact, shared by each of the ChickTech staff:
Tonya Pieske, Director of People & Operations:
“I had the absolute pleasure of working with Megan Herren and Hannah Friedman on the very first virtual 1-on-1 mentorship program for high school girls and non-binary students in Colorado. I enjoy every meeting with them and appreciate all the work they’ve done to build such a solid foundation for a program that we continue to grow for years to come. They are shining examples of what can be accomplished when a group of folks share a passion for creating more opportunities for youth to learn about STEM in a welcoming environment. We can’t wait to see this program grow and reach more students across the country!”
Katie SanFilippo, CEO:
“I would love to shout out a few volunteers that have been with ChickTech for many, many years, have helped to provide amazing guidance and leadership across the organization, and remained dedicated to continuing building a supportive ChickTech community and collective impact throughout the past two years in a complete remote program environment. Sandra Johnson and Nicci Frick, despite hectic work schedules, have continued to encourage and build the Denver team, leading to the largest local site team across the country, and have jumped fully into leading their team in supporting the upcoming ChickTech: High School Year-end Conference. Kelly Curtin, in RDU, is one of ChickTech’s longest tenure volunteers, and has helped to shape and guide not only building local RDU impact in reaching some of the most underrepresented students, but has used this knowledge to guide the national strategy in our youth outreach. Melissa Schwass, the previous Director in Denver, demonstrates such a strong commitment to building ChickTech impact, that, when moving to Dallas, decided to bring ChickTech with her, and continues to push the needle forward on advancing opportunities for ChickTech students through her engagement and company partnerships. Jennie Leigh, on the National Board of Directors, has been one of ChickTech’s biggest advocates over the last 10 years – she continues to build company involvement, build strong connections, and guide ChickTech in some of our biggest shifts as an organization. In addition, across ChickTech’s leadership, the Board of Directors has built stronger engagement and advocacy for the work we do on a daily basis. Thank you, Nanci Schimizzi, Elizabeth Gotto, Steve Hufford, Kimberly Clay, Ross Feinberg, Christine Pavalon, Jess Shevitz-Rauch, Noelle Johnson, and our two Youth Board Representatives, Sloane Miller and Govi Pusarla! Over the last year, our corporate partner representatives have stepped forward to not only work together on guiding ChickTech’s longterm strategies through the Partner Advisory Board, but also provide ongoing support in engaging company employees in volunteering – leading workshops and mentorships, speaking engagements, and more – and advocating for ChickTech’s work and impact. A big thank you to Ben Wise, Elena DeYoe, Kylie Denk, Ariane Evans, Nicholas Abrahams, Lacie Beck, Jenna VanZutphen, Lacey Arnold, Holly Fouraker, William Marks, and Khalil Smith!”
Renee Gonzalez, ACT-W Program Manager:
“Thinking about Volunteer Appreciation Week, I have to take a moment to reconginze Sarah Stephenson. She not only volunteers her time to building the logistic and structures of ACT-W programming, but also has a big influence on professional development of our community through mentorships and speaking engagements connecting directly with our members. She is always excited and happy to help in anyway including connecting ChickTech to her network. The past year working with her has been such a joy and I personally have learned so much from her! Thank you Sarah for the amazing peson you are!”
Dani Gehm, Marketing Manager:
“I’d like to shout-out a few of my amazing volunteers who have given their time and expertise to make our marketing efforts shine. Kyla Trotter is such a joy to work with—she is a high school student with a passion for gender equity in tech, and is the voice behind some of our upcoming ChickTech blogs. Kyla has impressed me so much with her skills in writing and project management. She has been such a pleasure to work with—thank you, Kyla! I’d also like to mention Kelly Curtin and Rima Chakravarty, who are the co-directors of our Raleigh-Durham (RDU) program site. Kelly and Rima have been instrumental in keeping the RDU community supported and active for many years, and I always enjoy working with both of them for their flexibility, amazing insights, and passion for diversity and inclusion in all that we do. Thank you to Rima and Kelly for being the amazing advocates and leaders that you are!”
Annalise Servin, Youth Program Manager:
“I have really enjoyed working with Joel Tatarka and Julie Burroughs on all things ChickTech High School! I really appreciate their time and support as I’ve gotten settled on the ChickTech team. Joel has been volunteering with ChickTech for awhile and has been super helpful by leading a Game Design workshop, sitting in on workshops and providing extra commentary, and always being a good sounding board for my ideas or questions. On the other hand, Julie is a newer volunteer but you would never know it! She jumped in head first and has been open to taking on any task. She has already helped with student outreach and has been a major support for the upcoming End of Year Conference. I cannot say enough about how much I value them!”
Are you interested in getting involved with ChickTech? We’re always welcoming new volunteers, partners, supporters, and attendees into our community!