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Transportation YOU

WTS Philadelphia Chapter’s Transportation YOU



What is WTS Philadelphia's Transportation YOU Program?

Transportation YOU is a hands-on, interactive, mentoring program that offers young women ages 13-18 an introduction to a wide variety of transportation careers. Through the program, WTS chapters work to make a difference in the lives of young girls by offering programs and activities that will spark their interest in all modes of transportation and encourage them to take courses in math, science, and technology, which are the stepping stones to exciting careers that can change the face of the transportation industry.

This is WTS Philadelphia's eighth year hosting the Transportation YOU program! Throughout the program year, both mentors and mentees have the opportunity to explore what makes the transportation industry so important and learn about how it impacts their every lives. Events are typically scheduled on Saturdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm, once every other month from September through June. Participants are encouraged to attend all of the events to get the full benefit of the overall program. We understand that scheduling conflicts sometimes arise, so we ask that parents and mentees please carefully the review the proposed event schedule prior to committing to the program. Parents/guardians are always welcome, but not required, to attend the events. All participants are required to register for the Transportation YOU program and each event for an accurate headcount. Events are typically hosted in Philadelphia. However, occasionally there are unique opportunities outside of the City limits in which our group will participate. Each year's program is different, so we encourage mentees to return for multiple years while they are eligible! Also, the program is completely FREE and lunch is provided at each event!

Our program is led by over twenty women professionals (engineers, planners, marketing, and finance professionals) who volunteer their time as mentors. Note that all of our mentors have undergone the background checks required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Examples of past activities and the activities planned for the 2017-2018 program year can be seen below!

For additional information, please visit: http://www.transportationyou.org/

Any questions about the program can be e-mailed to wtsphilastem@gmail.com

When will events be held this year?

Our tentative schedule of events for this program year is as follows, with all events being held on a Saturday from approximately 10:00am to 2:00pm

  • September 29, 2018 - Kickoff Event / Schuylkill River Tour
  • November 10, 2018 - College Q&A Panel
  • January 12, 2019 - Game Day
  • March 23, 2019 - Trends in Aviation Engineering
  • April 27, 2019 - Transportation Tour
  • June 15, 2019 - End of Year Celebration
  • June 2019 - Transportation YOU DC Summit (Exact dates TBD)

What are the goals and benefits of Transportation YOU?

  • Educate and empower young women regarding opportunities in the transportation industry
  • Connect mentees with role models through mentorship programs with professional women
  • Provide internships and career development opportunities
  • Help mentees build leadership skills and self-confidence
  • Make STEM education more accessible through scholarship opportunities
  • Build awareness of transportation as an exciting and rewarding career option
  • Contribute to the diversity and creativity of our transportation workforce
  • Create network of professionals in the public and private transportation industries

Scholarship Opportunities

WTS offers scholarships to high school students on the local and national level. Mentors can assist mentees with developing and reviewing their application/essays for ALL scholarships.

Note that WTS scholarship applications are typically released mid to late August. Applicants are not required to participate in the Transportation YOU program to apply for a scholarship; however, it is a great experience and resume builder.


Overview of Last Year's Program and Past Events

September 2017 - Kickoff Celebration

The WTS Philadelphia Transportation YOU 2017-2018 season got the ball rolling at the robotics lab of the University of Pennsylvania on September 30th, 2017. Dr. Megan Ryerson gave an overview of future transportation and the systematic approach to make autonomous cars road rady. UPenn students have even worked on an autonomous car on campus, a Toyota Prius nicknamed "Little Ben". Dr. Ryerson demonstrated simulations of how vehicles can sense the surroundings and safely deliver passengers to their destination. The morning session concluded with graduate student Yongbo Qian and an amazing team of robots, that are being programmed to challenge professional soccer players.

TrYOU mentees spent the afternoon in groups exploring the UPenn GRASP lab (general robotics, automation, sensing & perception) where the robots are challenged to make their goals - literally on a small-scale soccer pitch. These machines scan the surroundings, look for the far post, shoot, and SCORE! The mentees were also challenged with the task of coding to build a solo cup pyramid. A set of non-verbal directions were provided and the teams worked together to stack cups. Thank you to Dr. Ryerson and Yongbo Qian!


November 2017 - Ben Franklin Bridge Walking Tour

On November 18th, 2017, WTS Philadelhpia Transportation YOU held its second monthly event of the 2017-2018 program year: a walking tour of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

Delaware Regional Port Authority representatives Lis Kiawunn, PE (a TrYOU mentor) and Mike Howard, Project Engineer, gave a presentation and then led the group on a walking tour of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Mike and Lis gave a presentation about the history of the Ben Franklin Bridge.  The PowerPoint included information about how the bridge was made, costs associated with building the bridge, and any funding needed.  Lis Kiawunn pointed out how the bridge was designed and which materials were used.  Specifics included how suspension bridges utilized the newest steel production technologies that had not been available before.  Once completed, the bridge connected Philadelphia and Camden and quickly became an instant source of immense pride for the region.

After the presentation, TrYOU mentees walked to the bridge for a tour, also led by Lis and Mike, and then returned to Urban's office for a bridge-building activity.  The mentees broke into groups and were given directions and materials.  Their assignment was to challenge themselves by designing and building a bridge using K'NEX pieces.

A special thank you to Lis Kiawunn and Mike Howard for a great presentation and history lesson about how our Ben Franklin Bridge became the world's longest suspension bridge when it opened and identified the City of Philadelphia as a leader in industrial innovation, wealth, and sophistication.


January 2018 - College Q&A Panel and Tour

WTS Philadelphia Transportation YOU's third monthly event of the 2017-2018 program year was a College Q&A panel and tour held at Drexel University on January 27, 2018.  The event kicked off with a Q&A session that allowed the mentees and parents to ask all of their college-related questions and receive answers from a panel of women currently enrolled in area schools.  The panelists gave helpful information about what the mentees can do in high school to prepare for college, what to expect when they get there, and the importance of building a strong network.  The panel gave great tips on time management, college selection, and class selection in high school and college.

After the Q&A session, the panelists and mentors were involved in a "speed networking" activity with the mentees to help them build their own network connections.  Mentees rotated through the panelists and mentors, one by one, discussing a range of fun topics and learning about each other.  At the end of the session, the mentees, mentors, and panelists had the opportunity to introduce one another and share what they learned about their current one on one match-up.  In the afternoon the mentees took advantage of the unseasonably nice weather and took a walking tour of Drexel University led by TrYOU mentors and recent Drexel Alumnae, Assunta Daprano and Danielle Schroeder.  The tour showed the mentees several buildings on campus, including the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building which inclues North America's largest living biowall!

A special thank you to Drexel University, the WTS Student Chapter, Drexel University's Society of Women Engineers (SWE) chapter, the college panel members, Danielle Schroeder, Rachel Chiquoine, and Assunta Daprano for making this as exciting collegiate event!


March 2018 - Emergency Management in Cities

On March 24, 2018, WTS Philadelphia Transportation YOU made a trip to the City of Philadelphia's Office of Emergency Management.

The event kicked off with an introduction by Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Noelle Foizen, who spoke about the duties of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM).  These duties include providing disaster and emergency planning services to the City and its citizens.  Ms. Foizen went on to explain that the OEM also aids the City during special events, such as the Eagles Super Bowl Parade.

Next, Ms. Foizen introduced Nicola Mammes, the OEM’s Recovery Planning Coordinator, responsible for developing response plans for citywide emergencies. Ms. Mammes also spoke about her education and career path, particularly work she has done with the New York City Department of Transportation. This work includes research, data analysis and community engagement. At the OEM, Ms. Mammes also focuses on research and using best practices in recovery planning.

Lynn Fisher, the Community Resilience Coordinator at the OEM, was introduced next. Her role includes working with the various communities to foster engagement and readiness for an emergency. Ms. Walton was previously a science teacher in the Philadelphia School District and explained why emergency education is so important.

After the Q&A session, Ms. Walton explained the emergency management activity the mentors, mentees and parents would be participating in as part of the OEM’s “READY or not?” program. The activity consisted of various professions found within a city including the mayor, director of power, and owners of various businesses. The participants were told that the City was about to be hit with a treacherous storm and they needed to plan for the emergency. The activity provided the participants insight into how difficult emergency planning can be and how we can be prepared. OEM also provided the participants with various tools so they can prepare for an emergency in their own home.

After lunch, the participants toured the OEM office, including the Regional Integration Center (RIC), where traffic patterns and other city management issues are monitored. A special thank you to the Office of Emergency Management and Rachel Chiquoine for planning a fantastic event that was enjoyed by all!


April 2018  - Scavenger Photo Hunt

On April 28, 2018, WTS Philadelphia Transportation YOU participated in a Scavenger Photo Hunt.  The event kicked off with an introduction by TrYOU Chairs Kim Waters and Caitlin Gallagher.  The mentees were then divided into three teams.  Each team was given a list of clues and sent out with mentors to find and photograph them.  They had an hour to complete as many clues as they can and then report back to the office for lunch.

 During lunch, the winner of the scavenger hunt was announced. All the wonderful photos taken by each team can be found by searching #TrYOUPhillyScavengerHunt on Instagram.

Thank you to our wonderful TrYOU mentors for some fantastic clue suggestions!


June 2018 - End of Year Celebration

On June 16, 2018, Transportation YOU held its End of Year Celebration for the 2017-2018 program year at AECOM in Center City Philadelphia.  This celebration was held in honor of the mentees and all of the hard work they have put into the program throughout the school year.  At the beginning of the event, each girl introduced herself and recounter her favorite TrYOU event from the past year.

After introductions, Karen Jehanian, Owner/President of KMJ Consulting, spoke to the mentees about her journey - from her transition to college to starting her own company. In her very interactive talk, she encouraged the mentees to chime in about their experiences. Among other thought-provoking questions, Karen asked the mentees to list their core values. 

She closed her speech with some parting advice for the mentees - shadow a professional, do something that scares you every day, and keep learning! 

During lunch, we played a slideshow of pictures from each event. This year, we covered a wide variety of topics including autonomous vehicles, the Ben Franklin Bridge, tips/tricks for college preparation, and emergency management so it was great to recap the program year using a slideshow. Not at last month's event? No worries! The slideshow can be viewed here

Following lunch, gifts and certificates were given to all the mentees who were a part of the 2017-2018 program year. Transportation YOU Philadelphia congratulated the mentees on all of their amazing achievements! 


September 2018 - Kickoff Celebration

WTS Philadelphia Transportation YOU started its eighth program year with a fantastic kickoff event on September 29, 2018.  The day started off with a brief introduction of WTS and the TrYOU program.  Following the introduction, mentor Rachel Chiquoine led a fun icebreaker called "People Bingo".  The game required the mentees to fill out Bingo cards with interesting traits that could describe some of the people of the room.  The bingo squares included facts like "is an only child" or "has been on a road trip".  Mentees then had to network around the room to find people that could sign each spot.  The mentees also practiced crucial professional development skills through the activity by requiring they introduce themselves each time they met a new person, remembering to use a firm handshake and eye contact!  The goal of the game was to meet each other and network whilefilling out their entire bingo card.  Everyone successfully completed their bingo cards and had a great time in the process.

In the afternoon, the mentees were treated to a presentation from the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC).  President & CEO Joseph Syrnick and Marketing & Development Associate Heather Saeger gave an informative talk on how the SRDC is revitalizing the Schuylkill River corridor from the Fairmount Dam to the Delaware River. The SRDC has been working on construction, programming and maintenance of the 8-mile riverfront trail for everyone to enjoy. After the presentation, Joe Syrnick and Lane Fike, Director of Capital Projects, led the mentees on a walking tour of the trail. The nice weather and great information really made this event so much fun!

A special thank you to Jacobs, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Joseph Syrnick, Heather Saeger, Lane Fike, and Rachel Chiquoine for a great kickoff event!


November 2018 - College Panel

WTS Philadelphia Transportation YOU continued the 2018-2019 program year with its second event – the College Q&A Panel. The day started with a student panel full of local college students and recent alumni answering questions and giving their perspectives on college for the mentees. Students/Alumni from Pennsylvania State University, Cabrini University, Drexel University, Rowan University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Delaware gave advice to the girls on lots of great topics including the college application process, choosing a major, preparation in high school for college and getting support once in college. After the student panel the mentees, panelists, and mentors took part in a “speed networking" activity to help the mentees continue building on their network of connections. Mentees rotated through the panelists and mentors, one by one, discussing a range of fun topics and learning about each other. At the end of the session, the mentees, mentors, and panelists had the opportunity to introduce one another and share what they learned about their current one on one match-up. During these two activities the mentees partook in, the parents in attendance were in a separate session with Villanova admissions counselor Erica Woods speaking to them on college applications, college financial aid, and what to consider when selecting a college.

In the afternoon, there was a second panel with college engineering faculty members for the Panelists. Faculty members included Sarah Bauer, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at Rowan University, Sue McNeil, Ph.D., PE a Professor at the University of Delaware, Seri Park, Ph.D., PTP, an Associate Professor at Villanova University ,and Vicki Brown, Ph.D., PE a Professor at Widener University. The professors were able to share information with the mentees about what they teach, college research and labs, the path to getting a Ph.D. and the path to becoming a professor. All this information was helpful and the mentees were able to ask many questions.

A special thank you to Burns Engineering, the student panelists (Stephanie, Jala, Maxime, Elvira, Mehar, Gina, Laura, Monica and Ledornubari), admissions counselor Erica Woods, the college professor panelists (Dr. Bauer, Dr. McNeil, Dr. Park, and Dr. Brown), and all the mentors for making this such a great November event!


January 2019 - Game Day

WTS Philadelphia Transportation YOU continued the 2018/2019 season with a fun transportation themed Game Day! The day started with an ice breaker activity. Mentors and mentees chose strings and threaded them across a board through categories including age, grade, favorite color, and even types of pets. Then, everyone introduced themselves and stated their name, grade, school, and favorite game (Uno definitely won favorite game!). After the icebreakers, Kim Waters introduced the new program WTS will be rolling out: WTS Works. Through the program, graduating high school seniors interested in STEM careers can apply to summer internships with participating WTS firms. There will also be a shadowing program open to non-graduating mentees also available. Both of these programs require a resume to be submitted for consideration.

To get the mentees prepared for writing resumes, Nana Fares gave a presentation on how to develop a professional resume. This presentation advised the mentees on how to highlight academic and extracurricular achievements on their resumes. Once the mentees submit resumes for jobs, they often will be interviewed in person for a position before they get it. To help the mentees prepare for future interviews, Desarie Hammond Jones gave a presentation on What to and What Not to Wear for a job interview. She gave some great tips on how to dress for success and get the job! In the afternoon the mentees split into two groups to play some fun transportation related games. One group played a fun game of Jeopardy while the other played a game of head bands. The games took on transportation twists with the clues being related to transportation. Everyone had so much fun trying to guess the clues and the headband words!

Thank you Pennoni Associates, Kim Waters, Nana Fares, Desarie Hammond Jones, Kiera Crenny, Rachel Chiquoine, all the mentees and mentors for making the January event so much fun!


March 2019 - Trends in Aviation

WTS Philadelphia Transportation YOU’s fourth event in the 2018/2019 program focused primarily on the aviation side of transportation and was held at Temple University. As March is Women's History month, the day began with a timeline created by our Professional Development co-chairs, Kiera Crenny and Rachel Chiquoine, which spanned from 1840 to 2020 filled with women inventors, trailblazers, and other prominent women in history. TrYOU mentor, Kara Ogawa, then presented on airfield lighting and her role as an engineer at a consulting firm. Following, WTS Philadelphia’s Vice President, Linell Homentosky, spoke about what she does as the regional aviation lead at her company, giving the mentees and mentors a sneak peek at the future of airports. After these fantastic presentations, we had lunch and discussed the upcoming DC Summit application.

In the afternoon, the University of Delaware’s Construction Management program led the mentees through a number of rotating activities. The girls took turns flying drones through a number of hula hoops in a specific order and then flying the drone over to a sign to take a photo of it, making a two-tower bridge out of only paper, and learning about the physics of friction through air hockey tables.
Thank you to Temple University’s College of Engineering, Nicole Khan, Kara Ogawa, Linell Homentosky, Kiera Crenny, Rachel Chiquoine, and the University of Delaware’s Construction Management program for such a fun and informative event!


April 2019 - Future of Transportation in Philadelphia

WTS Philadelphia’s Transportation YOU’s fifth event in the 2018/2019 program took a look at the future of transportation in Philadelphia. Hosted by the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS), the girls heard what inspired OTIS employees to get into transportation and shared what inspired them as current students in transportation!
While overlooking’s Philadelphia’s City Hall from OTIS’s Innovation Lab, the girls learned about current projects in Philly that will improve transportation across multiple modes. From protected bike lanes and new trolleys, to changes on Roosevelt Boulevard and “Free Streets” day on Broad Street, there’s a lot to look forward to in Philadelphia!
After lunch, the girls split into two groups and got to see some of these projects firsthand. While some girls went on a walking tour to see the new Love Park and upgraded SEPTA stations, others rode through new protected bike lanes using Philadelphia’s bike share system, Indego.
Thank you to OTIS and Indego for a fun and informative day in the sun!
For more photos from our April event, check out our Facebook album!


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How do I contact Transportation YOU?

E-mail us at wtsphilastem@gmail.com, or you can visit our social media sites:

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