Career Week at clubGEN was Awesome!


Thank you to all of the amazing women who came out and shared their wisdom and experiences with clubGEN girls at Career Week. During Career Week, women from all over the community generously give of their time by speaking at one of GENaustin’s clubGEN afterschool clubs. Their example and insight inspire girls by showing them firsthand that any career is open to them. We are so grateful for all our Career Week volunteers for their support and encouragement of the next generation of women leaders.


Amanda Villarreal, GENaustin’s Outreach Coordinator, shared her experiences helping out at Club during Career Week:


Volunteering at our club we had the Asst. Chief of Police, Jessica Robledo, Rebekah Saltsman, a video game developer, and Jenny Magic, Marketer and Web Designer. The photo in which girls are playing games came out of an activity Rebekah created. She gave girls mismatched game board pieces and a game board and asked them to create their own game from it. The girls took the games in very different ways and demonstrated their mental agility and creativity. 


Chief Jessica Robledo was incredibly inspirational. She spoke of the importance of breaking through glass ceilings as women. She told girls to be the role model they didn’t have, as she had no female role models in the male-dominated police force to get where she did. During check-in, she motivated girls to sit-up straight, speak with a loud clear voice, and let their voices be heard. She asked for the girls to speak in the middle of the circle, instead of sitting back in their comfort zone; and to bring that confidence they mustered for that act into their daily lives.


Girls at Small Middle School meeting with their role models:

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Ally Miller, clubGEN Campus Coordinator shares her experience:


Career week was a blast! Each group was unique, fun, and inspiring. At Ojeda we had a Project Engineer, Buyer in Commercial Interior and Wardrobe Designs, and the founder of Live Oak Legacies which is a company that helps you record your family history. The highlight of that club was hearing about all the other interesting things the speakers had done along with their jobs. They were involved in non-profit boards, volunteering with youth serving organizations, and involvement in start up companies.  Each speaker has many more interests and hobbies outside of their jobs. What stuck out to me the most was how they spoke about their careers as a journey and not a linear path.


At Small, the speakers were a Civil Engineer and Financial Advisor. Both speakers spoke out about being in a career that is typically male dominated. Ashley, the Civil Engineer, said that in her first engineering class of 400 there were only FOUR girls. Sara, the Financial Advisor, started her own firm. They really stressed how important it is to follow what interests you and not be afraid if it’s something that people think “boys do.”


At Westview, our speakers were an IT Project Manager of HP and a Business Analyst Manager with National Instruments. They also talked about challenges of being in the technology field that is predominately male run. Heather, the IT Project Manager, shared how difficult it can be working with people from different cultures who sometimes have negative views of women in the workplace. She shared that has to work extra hard to overcome their stereotypes of women and by the end, she knows that she has done something to positively impact their ideas about women.


It was so inspiring to be surrounded by strong, successful women who want to make a difference in the world!


ClubGEN girls from Wallace meeting with the Mayor of Kyle:


Thank you, again, to everyone who volunteered to make Career Week such a special time for clubGEN girls!

Vanessa Wright