2012 Winner of the Social Impact ABIE Award
Cathi Rodgveller has been an educator for 30 years, and in 1999 her work as Nontraditional Career Counselor for the Seattle School District inspired her to found IGNITE (Inspiring Girls Now In Technology Evolution) Worldwide. Her visionary program works within the schools, encouraging girls to enter into STEM (science, technology, math, science) careers by connecting them with women in industry, exposing the girls to the women’s personal stories and providing insight into what those careers are like and what steps are required to get there. The key to the success of the program is enabling girls to picture themselves in those higher wage careers through identifying with the women who have already forged the way.
In the 13 years she has administered the IGNITE program, Cathi has shown thousands of middle- and high-school girls that their career options are much broader than they ever imagined. The reproducible and scalable IGNITE model works in any school in any country, pointing girls onto the path towards higher wage fields typically dominated by men.