Special Program takes students to local corporations to see technology jobs
Posted on 04/25/2019
Beville MS Students at the Girls Rock in Technology event, sitting at a table speakingFifteen eighth-grade students from Beville Middle School are participating in this year’s G.R.I.T. Program (Girls Rock In Technology). The program is designed to show girls that a career in technology comes in many forms and is attainable.

This is the second year of the program. It was co-founded by Wanda Castelvecchi of ePlus Technology, Inc., and Wendy Davis of Cisco Systems. Beville Middle was chosen to host the program and is the only school in Northern Virginia to participate.

Castelvecchi, along with Molly Snook, of ePlus Technology and Collen Voltz, of Cisco Systems, have developed this year’s program to be well-rounded and focused on skills like collaboration, networking, and public speaking while opening up access to people who have made a career in technology. The highlight of the program is students visiting Cisco Systems (Herndon office), ePlus Technology, Inc., (Herndon office) and Noblis (Reston office) to see the jobs firsthand.

Beville Middle School’s Instructional Technology Coach Brian Simpson, explained, “Mark Marron, chief executive officer of ePlus, Elaine Marion, chief financial officer of ePlus, and Lisa Roger, chief informational officer of Dewberry, have not only chatted with our students about their personal stories but encouraged our students to ‘ask anything.’” Simpson, who along with Katherine St. Pierre, sponsors Beville Middle’s G.R.I.T. program.

“G.R.I.T. is an amazing opportunity for our young ladies to really solidify what career they want when they grow up. I hope many Prince William County students, including my own daughter, have the same chance in the future,” Simpson added.

The G.R.I.T. students are working on projects that are due in May. At the final meeting the young ladies will give presentations about what the program has meant to them personally. It’s one more chance to reflect on the total experience and practice public speaking skills.

Technology-related job growth has exploded over the last few decades and shows no signs of slowing. However, as of 2018, only 25 percent of information technology jobs were held by women. G.R.I.T. hopes to move the needle in changing this.