Marie Wolbach, Tech Trek Founder, Honored with “Classic Woman” AwardSeptember 23, 2013
This week, Traditional Home magazine honored five women for their exceptional volunteerism with the Classic Woman Award. One of those awardees was AAUW member Marie Wolbach. We are excited and proud to see Wolbach recognized in this way, especially because we know better than most how truly exceptional she is.
Back in 1998, long before the national conversation around women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields began, Wolbach knew the value of programs that inspired girls’ excitement and confidence in STEM. With the help of an AAUW Community Action Grant, she founded the very first Tech Trek camp in California. The program was simple: Teachers nominated girls to attend Tech Trek, where girls stayed on a college campus for a week. Campers performed hands-on experiments, met women role models in STEM careers, and went on field trips to see the science and math they learned in class put into practice.
Wolbach’s program has inspired the AAUW community across the country. Every year, AAUW members in California put in a tremendous effort to ensure that girls from all socioeconomic backgrounds can attend Tech Trek, raising funds throughout the state to provide scholarships to all campers. And their hard work has paid off. Tech Trek has been an enormous success, growing to 10 camps on eight California college campuses and inspiring camp alumnae to take advanced math and science classes and attend college at a higher rate than their peers do.
Now Wolbach’s vision is being realized across the country. With Wolbach’s encouragement and guidance, AAUW selected Tech Trek as an ideal candidate for national expansion. In the summer of 2013, AAUW members in four new states held camps that served more than 160 girls. And Tech Trek will continue to grow: AAUW will be announcing three new campus sites for 2014 this week.
We are grateful for the collaboration and support of Marie Wolbach and AAUW of California during the national Tech Trek expansion. We are continually inspired by her unique and successful work empowering girls through Tech Trek. Congratulations on your award, Marie — you truly deserve it!