“We wanted this event to foster a connection between young women and the STEM field.”
Samantha Banark, Application Specialist with Care Logistics
On the morning of Thursday, July 28, 2016, fifty-one young women entered the headquarters of Alpharetta-based Jackson Healthcare. They were greeted with Hawaiian leis and escorted to a large event room decked out with palm trees, linen-wrapped tables and festive goodie bags.
The four-hour event was designed to encourage these 6th to 12th grade girls to get involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields. It was a collaboration between Jackson Healthcare and Women in Technology, a local TAG organization founded in 1992 to advocate for women and girls at every stage of their STEM careers, “from the classroom to the boardroom.”
“We wanted this event to foster a connection between young women and the STEM field,” said Samantha Banark, an application specialist with Care Logistics who serves as Jackson Healthcare’s event chair. “These girls have the freedom to pursue any career they want. STEM arenas need more women to join the ranks. This event strives to spark a heightened interest and participation from young women.”
Over the course of the day, participants heard a keynote by Jennifer Dangar, Jackson’s chief of corporate operations. Participants also participated in small-group panel discussions hosted by Jackson Healthcare’s Robyn Smith and Linda Brown, Healthcare Staffing Technology’s Karyn Mullins and Serina Joyce, and Care Logistics’ Elena Tarasova.
It was the largest Georgia WIT Girls event held to date and Jackson Healthcare’s second consecutive year as a host. Other event hosts have included Coca-Cola, Georgia Pacific, IBM, NCR and McKesson.
To add to the experience, Jackson Healthcare coordinated over $3,000 in giveaways. Applerouth Tutoring Services, a national tutoring organization, awarded one attendee with a SAT/ACT prep package worth $1,300. My College Prep, a private college advising company, donated a $450 college advising certificate. The event was catered by Sterling Spoon Culinary Management, the Atlanta-based chef-driven food services company that operates Jackson’s in-house café.
“WIT Girls is thrilled to have continued its relationship with Jackson Healthcare,” said Christina Beyer, Women in Technology’s director of events. “The girls are given so much valuable insight from the speakers, as well as from one another. You can tell the volunteers put their hearts into making the event an experience that makes a difference for the girls.”
To learn more about Women in Technology, visit MyWIT.org.