The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Los Angeles Younger Member Forum (LA YMF) was able to make an idea come to life and host 230 Girl Scouts and their troop leaders at the Los Angeles Water and Power (LADWP) Headquarters on Saturday, August 4, 2018!
This event included a special Dream Big Screening complete with a glamorous red carpet, and hands-on engineering activities with female engineer mentors where many were part of LADWP’s Society of Women Engineers internal program.
Before the screening, the girl scouts were able to hear an inspiring welcoming speech by LADWP Commissioner Aura Vasquez on the importance of diversity in STEM and how LADWP is putting their words to action where half of its Board is female.
After viewing the Dream Big movie, which is also now available on Netflix, the girl scouts were able to listen to a panel discussion, moderated by Monica Morales, including accomplished LADWP female engineers, Evelyn Cortez-Davis, Assistant Director of Water Resources, Jennifer Valdez Czekalla, Civil Engineering Associate for the Water Operations Division, Leah Mulat, Civil Engineering Associate for the Water Distribution Division, and Sabi Valdez, Electrical Engineering Associate of the Power Engineering Division. They each had powerful words of advice for the girl scouts as they are navigating school to find what they are passionate about, how to overcome fears and obstacles and being sure to speak up when they have good ideas.
The girls scouts asked incredibly intelligent questions after the panel discussion such as effective ways to overcome a hard day or week at work or school, and what was their first day on the job like and how they became more confident in their roles throughout their careers.
Chloe Gharios, LADWP Civil Engineering Associate for the Civil Engineering Group and avid ASCE LA YMF volunteer, gave the closing remarks and reflected on how the girl scouts’ G.I.R.L. acronym covered the many topics touched upon during the panel discussion where G.I.R.L. stands for: Go-Getter, Risk Taker, Innovator and Leader!
Jacobs graciously sponsored decorations for the red carpet as well as giveaways for the Girl Scouts after the event being Jacobs fidget spinners, which the scouts were extremely excited about! The girl scouts also earned a STEM patch to add to their vests for attending this STEM event! Everyone who volunteered and participated thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles were definitely inspired to Dream Big!