Had you visited the Sorrento Hotel in downtown Seattle on March 1, you would’ve seen hundreds of people: Some gathered in small clusters chatting, others drinking coffee and working on their devices, and many more seated in the Grand Ballroom to hear insights from company leaders.

However, amongst the crowds, you also would’ve seen a small group of girls wearing orange tee shirts. These are the TechBridge Girls: High school students with a passion for STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

As part of our DocuSign IMPACT activation at SKO, we teamed up with TechBridge, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls in underserved communities to explore and further develop their interests in STEM by providing “access to hands-on learning and real-world exposure they need to pursue their dreams and careers.”

Each girl was paired with a DocuSign mentor to answer questions and provide a look into the experiences of a working professional in the tech industry. The group kicked off their visit with a “Web Strategy Lunch and Learn” in the Willow room, featuring speakers including Robin Joy, DocuSign’s SVP of Web & Mobile.

Next up, it was time for the girls to put on their aerospace engineer caps for a hands-on learning activity: Groups of 3-4 would construct aircrafts from balloons, paper plates, and other materials. Slowest to the ground won a DocuSign IMPACT jersey plus $500 to a nonprofit of their choice.  (Congratulations, Team SkyDive!)

Speakers & Speed Mentoring 

Afterward, the group moved onto a panel featuring female leaders at DocuSign: CISO Vanessa Pegueros and SMB Account Executive Monica Glover. The girls then broke up into smaller groups for several speed mentoring sessions: Mentors, including Pegueros and Glover, answered questions and offered guidance for several minutes, before rotating to each table around the room.

Before heading down to the Product Showcase, we asked several mentor/mentee pairs to each answer one question: “What advice would you give your seventeen-year-old self?” (For mentors.) And “What advice would you give your future self?” (For mentees.) “Never give up. Your mistakes are what make you, you,” said one student. “Do it,” said one mentor. “You don’t think you can, but you can.” 

Closing Statements 

The mentors and mentees closed out their day by heading to the Grand Ballroom for closing statements from President of Worldwide Field Operations Neil Hudspith, Amy Skeeters-Behrens, Executive Director of DocuSign IMPACT, and Callista Chen, Executive Director of TechBridge Girls.

“TechBridge inspires girls to change the world through STEM. It’s not that the girls don’t have someone in their corner — they do — but we provide extra support when there are just a few more challenges to come. But we can’t do it without partners like DocuSign,” said Chen.

Finally, the girls headed up to the stage to share their stories: “TechBridge has given me the opportunity to learn new things about tech. One of my goals is to become a computer programmer,” said one student, Paula.

DocuSign IMPACT’s devotion to creating sustainable, scalable solutions for nonprofits means harnessing their people, their technology, and their dollars: While DocuSign had agreed to match all donations up to $5000 made to TechBridge Girls during SKO, our CEO Dan Springer revealed during his closing statements that he too would match all donations up to $5000. 

DocuSign IMPACT will continue to work with TechBridge Girls to help inspire students passionate about STEM.  If you would like to donate to TechBridge Girls, or simply learn more, please visit TechBridgeGirls.org.