We love mentors! Mentors power our programs and help thousands of students every year play, build, and explore with technology. Mentors help students refine ideas, understand new tools and technologies and apply them in their communities – and they also offer an understanding ear to work through inevitable set-backs and challenges. We love them all year round, but since January is National Mentoring Month, we wanted to throw an especially big spotlight on some of the mentors leading the change around the world. To help us celebrate mentoring month we asked Regional Ambassadors from six regions to recognize one of their mentors for their phenomenal service.
From developing a video series to help students understand the curriculum in Cambodia, to spending Saturdays at working sessions with students in Mexico, these mentors show up for students in their communities time after time, in so many ways. Their dedication inspires us at a distance, but it also makes a very real change in their students’ lives and educational journeys.
If you’re inspired too, it’s not too late to register as a Technovation Girls mentor for the 2020 season! Learn how to support girls in your community – or far beyond it – as a mentor this year.
Punleu Chomnan, Cambodia
A Technovation mentor since 2017, and an inspiration to his local Technovation community, Punleu works closely with his local Regional Ambassador, Voneat Pen. Voneat told us how Punleu inspires his community – “Punleu has always been a dedicated mentor. He helped produce a localized video series that helps our girls who had difficulty understanding English.” Since 2017, Punleu has supported 25 students to complete the program.
Kate Indrelie, United States
A Technovation Girls mentor for six years in St. Paul Minnesota, Kate supported the Technovation MN chapter from its founding. Her local Regional Ambassador, Jean Weiss explained that in 2014 Kate ” took a chance on a new program because she wanted to share her passion for technology and entrepreneurship with the girls at her school.” Since then, Kate has mentored 27 teams and 80 girls. Jean added that “Kate is the embodiment of our credo: ‘sparking the technologist within her’.”
Margaret Msipa, Zimbabwe
A Technovation mentor for over 2 years, Margaret has supported 30 students to explore technology as a tool to solve local community problems. Her local Regional Ambassador Thando Gwinji describes Margaret as “an energetic and hardworking leader who has been opening doors for her students” and is “dermin[ed] to inspire girls to realize their full potential through coding and programming.”
Janice Sherman, Canada
Janice has been with Technovation Ottawa since its beginning in 2015. An early volunteer, Janice’s dedication makes her stand out. Her local Regional Ambassador Jennifer Francis told us that Janice “consistently goes above and beyond, mentoring multiple teams each season, meeting at the schools, managing workshops and judging international submissions through the semi finals.” Since 2015, Janice has mentored more than 50 students and helped many more through the workshops she manages.
Luis González and Karla Balpuesta, Mexico
Luis and Karla are both public high school teachers in Mexico returning for a third year as Technovation mentors. Maria, the Regional Ambassador for Mexico told us that she couldn’t pick just one mentor – that both Luis and Karla support teams at their schools throughout the season. “They continually inspire and support girls to expand their horizons and skills through the Technovation Girls program.”
They recruit girls and make sure to follow up with them, ensuring they connect with mentors, and spend Saturdays with teams at dedicated work sessions, in addition to securing office visits for the girls.
Soji Megbowon, Nigeria
Soji is a mentor and teacher supporting teams in Nigeria. His Regional Ambassador Pamela Chukwuemeka explains “Soji is not just a schoolteacher; he is a 2019 technovation challenge mentor and his mentorship produces regional winners.” Soji has been recognized numerous times for his work as a teacher and mentor including as a 2019 Global Teacher Prize finalist, and 2019 Maltina Teacher of the Year first runner-up. He is a passionate advocate for inclusive education, coding, STEM education and entrepreneurship.