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The Birth of A Solar System

I am the product of the public school system. Growing up with consistently high grades in math and science I would ultimately end up attending Brooklyn Technical High School, one of New York City’s specialized public high schools dedicated to Engineering, Math and Science.  However, I was there by default and had little interest in such areas. Even though I maintained such grades, I never had anyone encourage me to be a Scientist or an Engineer and really could not understand the value of the resources available to me.

It wasn’t until I graduated from college with a degree in Business Management and Marketing and landed my first position out of college where I unexpectedly ended up managing our digital advertising that I began to explore the possibilities of working in the tech field. At that time, the Internet was just exploding and the true value of the digital realm was just being realized. I became obsessed with all things tech and began to educate myself. I was completely captivated and in awe that I hadn’t already known these things.

One day, while sitting for a tutorial with the engineering department, I took a look around and realized that I was the only black, female in the room. Always curious, I wondered what a career in the tech field might look like and started conducting research. My findings were bittersweet. While these professions were well paying, with women working in STEM making 33% more than women who don’t, thelikelihood of finding someone with a background like mine was extremely low. Only 26% are women, one in 10 STEM professionals are minority women and 74% of STEM professionals are white.I also learned that while there is a lack of minority representation in STEM, the United States in general, is lagging in production of STEM professionals. Half the workforce approaching retirement, in order to remain competitive we must attract and retain a diverse, domestic workforce at home. With minorities projected to account for half of the nation’s population by 2020, a logical solution would be to tap into this under resourced talent pool.

After dissecting this information I saw the opportunity to take my Business and Marketing skills into the digital sector. As I began to implement this shift in my career I couldn’t shake the nagging question of, “How can I get other people in my demographic to see this value too?” Thus Digital Girl, Inc. (DGI) was born.

DGI was created with a mission to empower inner city youth to pursue careers and studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). We aim to be the bridge for students between education and how it can be applied to their future. We hope to bring awareness to students about non-traditional professions in STEM fields in order to close the achievement gap that currently exists in the STEM fields. We want to give inner city students the ability to relate to the technology we consume every day and bring added value to the education they are receiving. Education without passion is like a candle with no flame – takes up space but serves no purpose.

Sometimes I wonder, where I would be if just one person might have brought to my attention that I had all the makings of a future astronaut. But then I look around the classroom, at all the children we are working with and realize, I am right where I am supposed to be. Among my own set of stars, my very own solar system and imagine that for the few hours we are with them, maybe we are their sun. Providing light and nourishment; allowing them to grow into all they can be. Helping to guide them through love and understanding because after all I am and will always be the children that Digital Girl, Inc. serves.

– Michelle Gall, Executive Director, Digital Girl, Inc.

Michelle Gall Digital Girl

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DIGITAL GIRL, INC SUMMER 2015

This summer Digital Girl, Inc. (DGI) operates its first summer program which is headquarted at the Police Athletic League located at 495 Gates Avenue, with two outreach programs at Children of Promise of NYC (CPNYC) and Corner Stone Baptist Church, also located in Bed-Stuy. Our programs are currently staffed by dedicated, qualified volunteers and the Summer Youth Employment Programparticipants. CPNYC is a year round community based non-profit organization that provides services to children of incarcerated parents through afterschool, summer camp, mentoring and mental health programs. DGI has been dedicating time to instruct and mentor the students of CPNYC (ages 10- 13) in coding. At Cornerstone Baptist Church we are partnering with their summer program that prepares students to take the specialized high school exam. These partnerships are perfect, as learning to code is not just about computer programming, it’s about learning computational thinking. Computational thinking is the problem solving skill, the logical thought process, the ability to spot mistakes and a willingness to solve a problem. These skills are essential not only in math but encourages a way of thinking that can help children in every area of life.

Digital Girl, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the underserved youth of our communities, especially young girls, to pursue studies and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines. Although we service the New York City communities at large, we have initially narrowed our focus to the underserved community of Bedford Stuyvesant. DGI currently has in place a DGI Coding program that introduces students to computer programming. To date, approximately 700 students have participated in this program. DGI also operated an afterschool coding program at 2 public schools in Brooklyn, NY this past spring semester which are set to resume this fall. Both programs were to full capacity (50 students) with waiting lists. DGI produces Parent Technology Workshops, and Week-long Immersion into Stem Programs (WISP), which are very popular.

CORNERSTONE CPNYC 1

Two girls summer program

We are strategically working in the underserved communities of NY and offer all programs free or charge to encourage a wider participation. Any donation you make to our start up fund will help to expand our offerings and address our current waiting list. DONATE NOW!

YOU’RE INVITED TO OUR DIGITAL GIRL FIGHT NIGHT FUNDRAISER!

You are invited!

DIGITAL GIRL FIGHT NIGHT

Catch our Early Bird Special & Watch Mayweather vs Pacman with us!

Early Bird Special: Get 2 tix for $50 or buy 3 get 1 free! 

Go to www.digitalgirlinc.org/giving to reserve your spot(s) now! 

Digital Girl, Inc. has added a 3rd non-fee based weekly after-school coding class and are currently organizing a summer program. We are aggressively seeking funding as we continue to expand. Please join our fundraiser “Girlfight” on May 2nd.

Bring a friend and/or spread the word!

Apply for St. Francis College Summer Science Academy

What an amazing opportunity from my Alma Mater! Apply for St. Francis College Summer Science Academy for High School Students!

New York City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo

WHAT This is a FREE three-week (Monday-Thursday) summer program in which science and math are integrated with field trips in a warm, friendly setting, taught by St. Francis College science professors.

There will be science experiments and activities in our new St. Francis College labs as well as field trips to places such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the New York Aquarium, and fishing and kayaking in Brooklyn Bridge Park. There will be pizza and an awards ceremony on the last day of the program!

***Students must provide their own Metrocards and lunches*** 

WHEN  July 6th thru July 23rd 2015;   Monday thru Thursday: 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM

WHERE:  St. Francis College 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201 (Near subways)

WHO:  High School Students (Rising sophomores and above)

(First Come-First Serve — Up to 20 Students)

Sponsored by St…

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SMS Marketing – A New and More Effective Way to Engage

If you’re like most people even though you have no doubt seen it (maybe even have engaged in it) you are wondering, “What exactly is SMS marketing?!” Short Message Service (SMS) marketing is a relatively new marketing technique that focuses on the use of text messaging to spread a marketing message. The process involves preparing one or more text messages offering such things as specials, new products, or new information about a product. These may be done in house or by a professional marketing group. This new media marketing concept is catching on in a variety of different fields after originating in the wireless industry!

There are many reasons why this type of marketing is beneficial and at many times trumps the previous ways of marketing:

  • Global penetration of mobile phones will surpass 3 billion users by 2012
  • There are 5.3 billion cell phone users (77% of the world’s population)
  •  Text messages have over a 95% percent read rate (compared to 8% for email and 2% for print) Of the 350 billion text messages sent monthly, 15% are for marketing purposes
  • A recent Jupiter Research report showed that 30% of consumers want coupons sent by text
  • SMS is the king of mobile messaging: 6.9 SMS trillion messages were sent in 2010. SMS traffic is expected to break 8 trillion in 2011.*
  • 249 billion MMS were sent, in 2010.*
  • 480.6 million users of mobile email in 2010, expected to quadruple by 2015.*
  • By 2016, application-to-person (A2P) messaging will overtake person-to-person (texting) messaging, being worth more than US$70bn.*
    • A2P messaging includes messages to or from an application to or from a large number of customers in financial services, advertising, marketing, business administration, ticketing, television voting etc.*
I think we can all agree that these are startling statistics! Thinking further ahead there is also another concept that one should keep in mind about SMS marketing.  More and more cellular phone holders are investing in smartphones.  This is important to take note of!  500 million people accessed the internet via mobile worldwide in 2009. Usage is expected to double within five years as mobile overtakes the PC as the most popular way to get on the Web.  Many mobile users are mobile-only i.e. they do not, or very rarely use a desktop, laptop or tablet to access the Web. Even in the US 25 percent of mobile Web users are mobile-only.*   SMS Marketing would be an ideal way to get consumers to your website!
SMS Marketing is a great way to get new business but its also a great way to keep current clients and engaged.
  • Let’s take a look at why we would want to target current business:
  • Discounts encourage customers to spend MORE money.
  • It costs six times more to sell something to a prospect than to sell that same thing to an existing customer**
  • 68% of customers will stop patronizing your business if they feel unappreciated. Conversely, they will patronize more if they feel appreciated (Think about the TV show, Cheers, “…want to go where everybody knows your name!”

Well??!! How does it work?

Let’s say you on a restaurant and Monday night is the slowest night of the week.  A good idea for you would be to develop a sms marketing campaign that encouraged customers to dine at your establishment via discounts and promotions.  When your Wednesday night customers come in you have them subscribe to your SMS account and perhaps your response to all subscribers might read:

“Thanks for joining our VIP list! Bring this text in on Monday night from 5-7 to receive complimentary wine with any entree order.”

Below is a more detailed example:

Step 1: Customer texts “keyword” to 55469

Step 2: Customer’s phone number gets stored in a confidential database

Step 3: Customer receives customized response (See sample text to the left)

Step 4: In the future you can keep these customers abreast of all events & promotions

Are you starting to get a better idea of this hot new marketing tool? If you have a product or service you’d like to market using SMS Marketing, contact DIGITALGIRL

*Source: http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats#mobilemarketing

**Source: http://marketing.about.com/od/relationshipmarketing/a/crmstrategy.htm

New Media vs Social Media

Perhaps the most frequently used word in 2011 could easily be deemed to be the word “MEDIA!” In this digital age technology is popping up all around us and forcing us everyday to change the way we do business and communicate. The foremost changes in Media have come from New Media and Social Media. Well what’s the difference you may ask?

The easiest way to realize the distinction is that Social Media is only one component off New Media. New Media is an interactive form of communication that uses the internet such as SMS & MMS texting, blogging, wiki’s, podcasts, streaming, social networks (like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler for example), Really Simple Syndication (RSS Feeds), virtual worlds (including gaming) to name the most prominent but only a few! With the internet available everywhere from a desktop, to a lap top to a tablet to a smart phone, virtually every country in the world is involved in New Media!

So then, what is Social Media?? It is a digital, online form of communicating including blogs (and Microblogs such as Twitter) and Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Linked In.

At the end of the day any Media platform, whether old, new or social was created with one purpose in mind-to connect people with information, services and most importantly – other people!!

To show you exactly how big Social Media has gotten let me inform you that tomorrow, June 30th,  is Social Media Day!

Social Media Day is Mashable’s global event, that celebrates the technological advancements that enables everyone to connect with real-time information, communicate from miles apart and have their voices be heard. Mashable invites all to connect with fellow web enthusiasts by hosting a local Social Media Day Meetup. There’s no better way to celebrate the revolution of media becoming a social dialogue than by socializing with the online community offline. You can read more about it on their website: http://mashable.com/2011/06/07/social-media-day-nyc/

I also found an amazing video courtesy of Socialnomics, that will give your further insight and help you understand how New Media/Social Media is impacting our world!

Sooo, now you understand the powers that be New Media and Social Media – just in time for Social Media Day – tell me, how are you going to celebrate your new-found knowledge tomorrow??

Empowering Minority Women

Ladies: mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, Boss Ladies & aspiring Boss Ladies-I encourage you to come out to this event! The company, 5linx, I represent is doing amazing things in the lives of myself and so many people I work beside. It’s IMPERATIVE to me that ALL MY FRIENDS & FAMILY understand the opportunity at your disposal.  This is not about phones, it’s not about red bottoms or Bentley’s and Beemers, it’s not about cruises to the Mediterranean! This is about creating legacy’s and changing the chaotic state of financial dependence OUR people are going through. 

Ask yourself, are you truly happy with the current state of life? Do you wish you had more time to spend on the things you love or the people you love? Do you wish you could send you kids to a better school? Perhaps live in a better neighborhood? Do you wish you could retire a parent because you watched them work so hard to give you better? Have you ever asked yourself why, when we have watched so many people in our family work 40 hours a week, for 40 years to retire on 40% of their salary (that they were already struggling on and remember $100 saved 40 years ago is only worth half of that, if even) do we continue on the same path to self destruction? Have you ever stopped zooming thru the regular hustle and bustle of the day to say, “Wait! I want to be wealthy, but come to think of it, none of the wealthy people in this world got there by having a day job!”

We, as a people, have been hoodwinked and bamboozled. While wealthy families sit over the dinner table and discuss how much the stock in the company they own has soared to, the poorer family is probably is heating up Chinese food because mama is working that second job to make ends meet & papa is in jail because the only way he was taught to work for himself was illegally learned on the street. There is a reason why finance is not taught in ANY public school, yet is generally a requirement in private school. This reason is to keep us oppressed. To keep us ignorant to the ways that wealthy people make money. Did you know that 97% of the world works for the other 3%? Modern Day Slavery. Do you understand the concept of residual income? Do you know that wealthy people on average have 8 different streams of income in their portfolio? Do you even know what a portfolio IS? Do you have any idea how to make the transition from worker to owner? This is where I come in!!

It is time for us to WAKE UP! Time for us to TRUST our fellow man. Time to support and encourage each other! It is time for us to create legacy’s!! It is time to decide here and now that you want & deserve more!! Opportunity is knocking LOUDLY!! Open the door-tonight at Nakisaki, 8:00p, 276 Fulton St., Hempstead NY. FREE, FREE, FREE!!