My Journey

Sophie Ngassa
Posted November 21, 2016 from Cameroon
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I am Woman in Tech and STEM advocate from Cameroon. It has been a long journey to get here amidst challenges I faced from discrimination to marginalization at school and at work.

I come from a middle class home made up of four children where I was the lone girl. I am privileged to be raised by parents who know the value of STEM education. Reason why I did mathematics and physic at high school. The teachers that taught me at schoolgreatlyinspired me. From then on I have never sat in class with more than 5 females out of about 40 students.

Growing up as a young girl, I faced the challenges of having to meet up with daily task of assisting my mother fetch water, collect fuel wood and cook. However, I never got discouraged and I still found the strength to make it to school and stay focused. The challenges were enormous from having little power to read my way through education. Little has changed over time and despite the milestones technology has made, my community still has a long way to go in overcoming these challenges.

I have a dream is to significantly improve upon the living conditions of women and girls overburdened by the daily tasks of chores and motherhood, which has made me very passionate about rural development especially using technical skills and tools to create sustainable and accessible technology-based solutions for under-served communities.

Today, I am a female STEM teacher with 12 years of experience teaching Civil Engineeringa Technical High School and Ihave never worked with more than2 women in my department.I am proud to have studied at one of the best Higher education and professional institutes in my country

My personal experience highly motivated me and for 6 years now, I have been serving as a mentor and a leader for girls in my community. I recognize the hardship and the struggle for young women to emerge as leaders without the help of mentors. In 2010, I founded a youth vocational technical training and entrepreneurship development centre called “Center for Youth Education and Economic Development” (CYEED) based in Bamenda. CYEED is a grass root development organization serving as a community resource center for technical training and education working to empower youths especially girls and young women towards achieving their development objectives.

In order to complete my dream of significantly improving upon my living conditionand that of every other women and girl, I have been serving for 6 years as a mentor for girls in my community. I have organize so far 30 workshops and 4 Holiday Boot camps to inspire girls in STEM. This work enabled me to discover a lot of gaps, which I intend to contribute in filling to make my community and the world a better place.

I like to sharethe opportunities that Technology offers for girls and young women that will lift them up and promote social inclusion, thus valorizing their competences.

My journey has been both exciting and full of challenges, while some of us women might lose hope along the way, I choose to hang on and fight because I believe in myself and my enthusiasm to learn and share knowledge for the promotion of women in science, technology engineering and math in Cameroon.

That is my journey and I want the twenty first century women`s journey to be even lighter with the greatest achievements. Today, I intend to use the strength I found in myself to encourage other girls and women through my experience.

Comments 6

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Hina Bhaagat
Nov 21, 2016
Nov 21, 2016

Dear Nagassa Sophie! your story is outstanding

You are very brave women we all have to learn from you ! You have stronge feelings about success i appreciate you for your struggle! And i also want to be an Advocate and your story gives me many ideas for being a successful! I LOVED IT WITH A BIG PLEASANT SMILE! :D And LOVE YOU TOO! :* :)

Sophie Ngassa
Nov 28, 2016
Nov 28, 2016

Dear Hina,

Thanks for your great comment.We need to encourage each other, in order to build a strong community of role models.Do your best to lead change in your community. Thanks

Marne
Nov 29, 2016
Nov 29, 2016

Sophie, 

You have an amazing story and I am inspired to continue working in the field - bringing digital and technology literacy to under served communities.  Thank you for all you are doing!  Looking forward to collaborating with you and sharing insights.  

Marne

Sophie Ngassa
Dec 14, 2016
Dec 14, 2016

Dear Marne,

I am inspired by your comment. We need to get more women sited at the Table and leading in Technology. When women work together the results are outstanding. Can’t wait to collaborate with you. Cheers!!!

Natasha L
Feb 09, 2017
Feb 09, 2017

Hi Sophie -  Your Story expresses your passion for bringing your dream to reality.  Your determination and hopeful fighting for rural development is bringing opportunities for your community members.  Every bit of studying, learning, mentoring and  teaching you have done in your life is a contribution to so many people. Bravo!   Keep writing and keep believing in your successes.  

Sophie Ngassa
Feb 21, 2017
Feb 21, 2017

Dear Natasha,

I really feel encouraged. Thank you immensely for these kind words.I want to do my best for girls in my community, taking one step at a time especially with your moral support.Cheers !