KEYSER, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today teamed up with several senior IBM staff members for a day focused on female empowerment and STEM education. Eighth grade students from Capon Bridge Middle School and Romney Middle School—both in Hampshire County—traveled to Mineral County for the event, which combined Senator Capito’s Girls Rise Up program and IBM’s CyberDay4Girls series. While this marks the second Girls Rise Up event Senator Capito has conducted in Mineral County, it is her first event with Hampshire County students and the 19th event since the program’s launch in 2015.
“Inspiring the next generation of West Virginians—especially our young women—is very important to me,” Senator Capito said. “I was thrilled to not only introduce these middle school students to my Girls Rise Up program but to also combine its message of female leadership with IBM’s CyberDay4Girls program. Both programs are inspiring West Virginia students to set big goals and achieve them. Whether it’s a career in STEM or running for public office, I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful things these young women accomplish in the years to come.”
“IBM is proud to host CyberDay4Girls, in coordination with the Girls Rise Up program, to get more girls involved in STEM and interested in one of the fastest growing areas in technology—right here in West Virginia,” said Timi Hadra, IBM’s West Virginia Senior State Executive. “Today, these young women will learn about careers in cybersecurity, have a chance to meet female role models in the industry, interact with and program robots, and learn how to protect their personal information and build a positive reputation online. Thank you to Senator Capito for partnering with IBM on this event, and I hope we can inspire the next generation of women in tech.”
“We are grateful to have been able to participate in today’s program with Senator Capito and IBM,” Hampshire County School’s Director of Technology Lori Gnegy said. “Senator Capito’s Girls Rise Up message of empowering the next generation of female leaders here in West Virginia, combined with IBM’s CyberDay4Girls focus of encouraging more women to pursue STEM careers, are important topics. We are happy to be a part of a program that teaches important values and allows our female students to build self-confidence and discuss the importance of STEM education.”
Senator Capito launched the West Virginia Girls Rise Up program in 2015 to instill confidence in young West Virginia women and empower them to be strong, confident, and kind female leaders. The program focuses on three areas: education, fitness, and self-confidence.
Since 2016, IBM has been hosting “IBMCyberDay4Girls” events in the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Nigeria to promote cybersecurity education. The program is designed for seventh- and eighth-grade girls who have the chance to learn about the Internet of Things, participate in group activities such as basic threat modelling, and get to know some of the women of IBM who can share what it’s like to work in the tech industry.

Senator Capito discusses leadership with eighth grade girls from Capon Bridge Middle School and Romney Middle School.


Senator Capito helps students pick goals during the Girls Rise Up challenge activity.


 Students show off their new goals with Senator Capito and IBM staff.


Senator Capito, IBM staff, and students take a “selfie” at the conclusion of the Girls Rise Up event.

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