High School Students Like 'Real Life' View of Technology Paths


Nearly 300 students, including 150 girls, at Deerfield Beach H.S. heard sage advice from technology pros on the skills they’ll need for different tech careers and preparing for life’s curveballs. ITWomen Role Model Speakers Debbie Miller, formerly of Yahoo! and Arlene Willis,  ITWomen RMS coordinator, introduced  students to skill sets needed to succeed in a variety of roles in the industries of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Transportation and Industrial Engineering.

Real-Life Situations Most Appreciated
For many students, the “real-life” experiences of the speakers were the most valuable takeaways. Hearing “firsthand experience from people who actually did a variety of IT and Engineering jobs” was one of the best things about the Role Model session, wrote one student, echoing many of the student responses.

Debbie  Miller holds BS Computer Engineering and MS Computer Science degrees and Arlene Willis holds BS in Industrial Engineering and MS Transportation degrees.

Personal Influences and Inspirations
While sharing their academic and professional paths, Debbie and Arlene also shared elements of their personal lives that shaped career decision-making such as influences from school teachers, immigration, health and family demands.

Teachers Are Priceless Resources
Debbie and Arlene also shared what to expect on-the-job and how to create sound co-worker relationships and navigate workplace environments.  Both speakers implored students to look to their teachers as priceless resources and to prepare themselves to deal with changes along life’s way through mergers, acquisitions and aging.

Deerfield Beach H.S. ITWomen Youth Partner
Deerfield Beach High School is one of the newest youth partners with ITWomen for the Role Model Speakers program. Literacy Coach & L.E.E.O. Coordinator Sonja Sherman helped facilitate the session and several other faculty members including teacher Ned Oistacher were on hand.

Top Survey Responses from the Students: 

“firsthand experience from people who actually did a variety of IT and Engineering jobs”

“the ladies were kind and professional and had so much energy”

“to hear someone who majored in something that I want to do in the future”

“… understanding real life situations”

“… the pictures”

“the scholarships and jobs out there waiting for me”

“the discussion and Q/A portion of the presentation”

“the part where they explain what skills you need for the careers”

I received a better understanding of my future career”

“I enjoyed hearing about their personal lives and careers”

“Hearing about college experience gave me information about IT”

“What I like is when the speaker told us why she changed careers”

“Learning about their background and about the different workplaces”

“The presentation will help us choose a good path in life”

“The salary you make out of college in IT & Engineering”

Click here for more information on ITWomen Role Model Speakers (RMS).