ChickTech is a non-profit with a fantastic mission: To get more women into tech. In May of 2018 I volunteered to head up communications for their high school program.
The high school program brings 200 girls and non-binary students together for an initial 2-day “kick-off” in November, where they are assigned to different workshops and complete hands-on tech projects. After the kick-off there are monthly workshops the students can attend.
When I started working with them, the communications plan was pretty minimal. There had been some staffing changes and so I was mostly starting from scratch in terms of material, but had the support of a great team.
The first step was communicating with high school teachers in the Portland area. The students are invited to this program through nominations from their teachers, so we need to inform the teachers of the program, as well as establish trust in who we were and what we were doing.
This was done both with in-person meetings as well as a series of email communications. The results were great: More than 400 nominations (a substantial increase from the year before).
Phase two was contacting all the students who had been nominated with details about the program and information on how to register and attend the workshops. This was mainly done via email and texting. The results of this were good too: We had more than 200 students register for the kick-off and around 175 attend.
After the kick-off, I maintained communication with the students via email and text, to let them know about the monthly workshops as well as internship opportunities and other programs.
Overall, it was an incredibly rewarding experience and I loved seeing the students get excited about tech and realizing all the career paths open to them.