Today is a momentous day. Whether or not you are into politics, you cannot ignore today as a big day for the US and the world. Last night, the first woman was nominated by a major political party to run for the most powerful office in the world. I woke up this morning feeling that the world turned a corner; it’s a moment that deserves pause and praise and pride for women and men everywhere. I know, I feel it.
I grew up in Beirut with 3 sisters, no brothers. My mom was a career woman since I was born, and my sisters and I grew up seeing her work hard, learn everyday and strive to earn the respect of her colleagues and her friends through her achievements. When we were young, my dad got us chemistry sets, electricity kits, and programming lessons alongside dolls and playsets. My sisters and I all grew to be very career focused and never felt that there were any barriers in front of us because of our gender. But when I went to college I realized that this wasn’t the case for most women around me. Many grew up with messages of what they could or couldn’t do, who they could or couldn’t be.
Today with the nomination of Hillary Clinton, we are sending a signal to girls around the world that barriers are coming down. Women can change the status quo – they can and will have a shot at running the world. More so, women can be respected for their intellect, their achievements, and their divergent approaches and opinions. I am particularly inspired by this tweet my colleague shared yesterday:
In a time where there is more than enough fear and negativity to go around, this is a moment of happiness and pride and praise. May the next generation of ladies be full of confidence, poise and eagerness to change the world, and invent the world they want to live in. And may the barriers facing anyone because of their gender, sexuality, race, or language fall a little more every day. It can and it will happen if we believe it and we work for it.
I’ll leave you with some of our favorite videos of our young lady inventors. If these don’t give you hope that world is changing for the better, then I don’t know what will.
Anahit Tonoyan, age 11, taught herself programming using littleBits and invented “Bat Vision” – a device for the vision-impaired that can detect obstacles using echolocation.
Danielle Delgado, age 13, invented a Bit-ified Leaning Tower of Pisa using 3D-printed components.
4th grader Anoushka Banerjee invented the science fair-winning “Pawmer” – a pet calmer that plays classical music using littleBits to calm her overanxious dog.
7th-grader Mya Berkey invented “Brushing in the Groove,” which motivates her to brush thoroughly by tracking how often she brushes her braces.
As part of their “Invention Convention,” 2nd graders at the Marymount School in NYC designed, built and tested a self-cooling cast for broken bones.
Please note: this post is not meant to have political intent nor is it a candidate endorsement. The view is intended to encourage girls to pursue any dream no matter how big or bold.