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youngblackwomen-e1461601344675Young women in metro Detroit will be introduced to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at “Launch, Learn and Code: Girls EmPOWERED!” from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday Jan. 12, 2017 at Microsoft Technology Center, 1000 Town Center in Southfield.

Sponsored by Avail Services in partnership with Microsoft Store Somerset Collection, the event will feature one-hour coding classes, tech talk presentations, a panel discussion, STEM group chats and a screening of the film Hidden Figures.

“We are excited to work with women who are making great strides in the area of STEM education,” says Shy Averett, community development and event specialist for Microsoft Store Somerset Collection. “Not only is it important that students have access to quality educational software tools and resources, but they must also be exposed to professionals and leaders they can learn from.”

 Guest speakers and panelists include: Jill Ford, City of Detroit head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Dr. Sibrina Collins, chemist and executive director of The Marburger STEM Center at Lawrence Technological University; Tatiana Woods, General Motors software developer; Ashley Jones, captain of the Mercy Education Project’s Midnight Storm Robotics Team; and Miesha Williamson, engineer and founder of STEM Girl Social Network.

Additional technology professionals from General Motors, DTE Energy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Wayne County Community College District, Detroit Labs, and other organizations will speak with the youth about STEM careers and the importance of following their dreams.

 Students and STEM mentors will view Hidden Figures at the AMC Star Theater Southfield at 2 p.m.  The film is based on a true story about a team of African-American women who provided NASA with critical mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space mission. 

For more than 10 years, Avail Services has provided youth leadership programs and events for professional athletes, non-profit organizations and schools. With a focus on youth tech engagement, Avail’s goal is to make a greater impact in the lives of children by helping them to become creators and contributors in the technology industry. Avail’s focus is also creating more accessibility, excitement and awareness around technology development in under-served communities throughout the country.

 The Microsoft Store-Somerset Collection (Microsoftstore.com/troy) is a technology hub and full retail store featuring a wide selection of products including: Surface, Office, Signature PC’s and more.  The store also hosts free year-round workshops featuring: Office 2016, Microsoft Band, Surface, Surface Pro 4, Windows 10, and YouthSpark camps for children.

For more information, media may contact Sandra Ware at 248.417.2709 or Csportspr@aol.com, or Shy Averett at 313.799.6475 or via email at shaverett@microsoft.com.



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