Let's help four Liberian students attend the SWE Conference!

For: Four undergraduates from Liberia Society of Women Engineers
Monrovia, Montserrado, Liberia
Organizer: Graduate Society of Women Engineers at the University of Michigan
$2,839
of $13,500 goal.
Raised by 46 donors
21% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Four engineering undergraduate students from the University of Liberia had an abstract accepted to the 2015 Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Conference in Nashville, TN (http://we15.swe.org/). Please help fund them for this experience of a lifetime!

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About the students:
Edith Tarplah is a rising junior studying Civil Engineering.

“As a Civil Engineering student, I'm interested in learning about the interdependence of modern and traditional/ cultural structures. My interest is all about having mankind stay in touch with their traditions but still be modernized, and understanding how the improvement of structures can change the way people think about their communities in underdeveloped countries. To achieve this goal I need to meet like minded people with different cultural background and skills, such as people who are professionals in my field of study, and even traditional rulers and builders. I hope that by attending the WE15 conference hosted by Society of Women Engineers I will meet some like-minded people. At the conference I wish to hear other female engineers tell their stories in hope of learning about how the structure in their communities affects them as a person. Based on the experience and knowledge I hope to gain from the WE15 conference, I will return to my university with more focus in applying pursuing my interests.”

Angie Sillah is a rising junior studying civil engineering.

“My area of interest has always been to encourage young females around the world especially females in slum communities in Africa, with an emphasis on helping people develop their communities and improve their infrastructure. In doing so, I wish to work with the environment in structure and sanitation in my home country. The We15 conference, hosted by the Society of Women Engineers, will be a very important step towards my goal. During the presentations, I will have the opportunity to interact with professional women in the STEM field with various career backgrounds and interests. I will then be able to use their stories to guide my continued learning and to successfully distribute that knowledge to those interested in STEM.”

Marian Sankay is a rising junior studying civil engineering.

“As a female studying civil engineering at the University of Liberia, I hope to have many useful experiences at the WE15 conference. Being a student at my university is a challenge: due to a lack of resources, one must take a lot of personal initiative to be successful in one’s field of specialization. My dream is to become a structural engineer and field supervisor. My experiences with SWE have really driven my career interests, and now I want to understand how to go even farther. At the conference, I wish to share my experiences, and to also listen and learn from others who are willing to share their own.

Miatta Sicarr is a rising junior at Culver-Stockton College studying business.

Miatta was originally an undergraduate studying geology at the University of Liberia. However, after receiving the opportunity to move to the U.S. and continue her studies at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri where she is now studying business (engineering is not offered at her new university). Within a year of beginning her new school, she has already had many accomplishments, including being elected the President of the International Club. While she cannot study engineering at the moment, she hopes to one day return to the field of engineering. Attending this conference will be a significant contributor to her motivation and ability to continue to excel in her education. Additionally, this conference will be the first time that Miatta will have been reunited with her friends since coming to the U.S. in 2014.

Edith, Angie, Marian, and Miatta are all founding members of L-SWE, the Liberia Society of Women Engineers. https://gradsweatum.wordpress.com/about-l-swe/

About their presentation:
During their presentation -- entitled “A GIRL STORY – An African female engineer’s perspective” -- the Liberian students will be using SWE as a platform to tell the world what it is like to grow up as a girl in Africa pursuing a STEM career, and all of the barriers that they continue to overcome to realize their dream of becoming engineering professionals.

As companies, governments, NGOs worldwide have focused their efforts toward girls’ education (e.g. Intel’s Girl Rising, USAID’s Let Girls Learn, NIKE Foundation’s the Girl Effect), these Liberian students’ perspectives and insights into what it takes for a young woman today to succeed in her education could not be more timely. Not only do they stand to benefit greatly from attending the SWE Conference, but through their presence and their stories, the SWE community will be able to experience firsthand what it means to continue to “Reach Out to Reach Up” and have a positive impact in the lives of women across the world.

Cost breakdown:
The plan is for the four students to fly in to Chicago and be picked up by a group of University of Michigan students who will then drive straight down to Nashville for the conference. Immediately after the conference, the students will travel back with the Michigan students to Ann Arbor to spend a week on campus, experiencing university life in the U.S. and meeting with fellow female engineers at the University of Michigan campus. The students will then travel back to Liberia, just in time to begin their new semester.

The cost for each of the three students traveling from Liberia is estimated as:

  • Airfare from Monrovia to USA: $2500
  • Ground transport within US: $500
  • Conference registration  + banquet: $125
  • Room and board at conference: $350
  • US visa: $250
  • Daily expenses in Ann Arbor: $275
  • Total per student traveling from Liberia: $4,000

The cost for the one student currently in the U.S. is estimated as:

  • Airfare: $250
  • Ground transport within US: $500
  • Conference registration + banquet: $125
  • Room and board at conference: $350
  • Daily expenses in Ann Arbor: $275
  • Total for student already in US: $1,500

Total amount of money to raise: $13,500

For more information, please contact one of the members of the SWE at UM team below:
Sara Rimer - srimer "at" umich "dot" edu
Sahithya Reddivari - sahitya "at" umich "dot" edu

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on September 28, 2015

Posted on September 28, 2015

Wow! We have already raised almost $2000 from over 20 supporters!!!! Thank you all so much!!!

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