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Local Junior High School Girls Selected for Tech Trek

The camp aims to inspire young women to pursue courses and careers in math and science

Eight local junior high school students will be attending Tech Trek, a science and math camp for girls taking place in late July at UCSB.

The young women were nominated by teachers and interviewed and selected by members of the Goleta Valley branch of the American Association of University Women.

Selected teens include Annaka Avelar, Mariah Dodero, Michelle Espinoza and Dominique Nungaray from Goleta Valley Junior High School, and Lizbeth Bernal, Tiana Gong, Harper Owen and Alexis Villa from La Colina Junior High School.

Founded by the California AAUW, Tech Trek was established with the goals of motivating young women to take math and science courses each year of high school and to attend college; inspiring them to major in subjects leading to careers in science, technology, engineering or math; and building self-confidence and leadership in attendees.

Since 1998, the first year of the program, nearly 6,000 girls have taken part in the program. Recent participants are now attending at least 110 colleges, with 54 percent of them majoring in one of the above areas.

Chairman of the local Tech Trek committee is Beverly Kowalsky-Ching. Elks Lodge 613 in Goleta, ATK Space and Raytheon are major sponsors of the program.

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