WTS San Francisco Bay Area recently launched its Transportation YOU activities with a bang in partnership with Girls, Inc. of Alameda County. Girls Inc. inspires girls from underserved communities to reach their potential and become role models for the next generation. They sponsor programs specifically aimed at building girls’ confidence and skills through achievement opportunities in science, math, technology, sports, leadership, and careers.
Several months ago, the WTS Transportation YOU committee facilitated speakers for Girls Inc.’s TE3 (Girls Innovating with Technology as Entrepreneurial Environmental Engineers) Program. Speakers included Maria Ayerdi, Exec. Director, Transbay Joint Powers Authority, and her staff, Debra Johnson, Administration, SFMTA, and Kathleen Kelley, former COO and Debra Reese, Superintendent, AC Transit.
Presentations covered a wide range of topics, including their educations and career paths, the purpose and functions of each agency, and how communities are involved in policy making. The young audience was completely engaged as evidenced by questions such as:
- What was your favorite class in school?
- Does your graduate degree need to be in the same area as undergraduate school degree?
- How do AC Transit and SF MTA determine fares for youth?
- Why are fares always going up?
- How long does it take for a cable car to stop?
- Are there cameras on AC Transit buses?
- What is the average number of accidents on SF MTA per year?
- How much do you get paid?
Transportation YOU activities with Oakland middle and high school girls will include hosting project/agency site visits, after-school speaking activities, and summer internships in partnership with Girls Inc. and one-on-one mentoring opportunities, in partnership with Be a Mentor, Inc. So far, more than 25 WTS members have signed up for these group activities and mentoring opportunities.