June 9, 2014
A local woman is volunteering her time, teaching girls about computers and technology. In this week's Stephanie's Heroes, CBS19's Stephanie Satchell is featuring Courtney Christensen, who works closely with two organizations: Computers 4 Kids (C4K) and Tech Girls.
Once a week you can find Christensen mentoring students at C4K in Charlottesville or teaching a technology lesson at a Tech Girls meeting.
"I love it. I love learning and I love seeing that spark of learning in my students," says Christensen.
She has been interested in technology and computers most of her life, and says it's important to share her skills with young girls.
"It's important to get young girls interested now so that they're not kept out of the workplace."
And that's exactly what these girls are learning.
"It shows that a woman can do tech things like men," says C'erra Rhodes.
With a few batteries, wires and rubber bands Christensen is introducing students like C'erra to the tech world. And now this middle schooler is able to build all sorts of items like this motor.
"She's a fun, cool and energetic mentor. Like she teaches me a lot of things about computers and computer science," Rhodes said.
Not only does Christensen leave quite an impression on her students, she's making a huge impact on the two organizations.
"We couldn't do our job at all without our volunteers. They bring so much expertise, so much enthusiasm, so much love for our kids," says C4K Program Director Dolly Joseph.
"Volunteers like Courtney and mentors are tremendous. Also she's a female in technology, a developer. So it's a great role model for the students as well," said Kim Wilkens, founder of Tech Girls.
Although Christensen may not think of herself as a hero, many others do. But she says she's just trying to make a difference and show young ladies that learning about technology can be fun, and can pay off in the long run.