Journeys from January

The first month of 2016 has come and gone. As I had shared before, I had the amazing opportunity to celebrate the New Year in Venice with 2 friends. I shared about our amazing travels last month in “Traveling into the New Year“.

All three during our walk, this was the town we had stayed in Manarola in Cinque Terra, Italy.

Once I had returned from travels I got back into the swing of things. Not long after that, our volunteer group (M29!) had our COS (close of service) lottery for when we get to choose our dates of departure (by a lottery). I will be finishing my Peace Corps service on July 15! Gah!

All of the M29 Community & Organizational Development Volunteers! 

I had the great opportunity to help coordinate and plan the M29 COS Lottery with an awesome team from our Peer Support Network (PSN)!

Then later in January we kicked-off the 2016 Technovation Challenge season with a “Girls Make Apps” workshop where we had over 75 people come to the event. We had about 14 teams represented and they had the opportunity to network with other teams and learn a little bit more about the AppInventor program which they will be using during the season to create their apps.


Technovation Challenge is the world’s largest and longest running tech competition for girls. In Technovation, teams of young women work with mentors and coaches to identify a problem, create an app to solve it, code the app, build a company to launch the app in the market, and pitch their plan to experts all in 3 months. It teaches girls life skills such as how to identify a problem, design and test a solution, collaborate with a team, and communicate to different audiences. Teams pitch and submit their ideas (through video) and participate in regional competitions. Once all projects are submitted, ten finalists are selected worldwide to compete in the final competition in California.

This year I am the representative as country “ambassador” for Moldova and have the wonderful privilege to work with an amazing team to promote the program and coordinate events for this year’s season. The biggest goal is to increase the number of girls who will participate and learn and gain new tech skills with hopes that they will pursue a career within ITC someday. Technovation Challenge has been a huge highlight for me during my service as a Peace Corps volunteer. Not only have I learned so much from it, I can see the incredible impact it has on girls and mentors/coaches as well.

It’s hard to believe that there are only 162 days until July 15. These last couple months are going to fly by way too fast…

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