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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 seventh 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/

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 30, 2017: Kickoff Celebration/UPenn Lab Tour
  • November 18, 2017: Ben Franklin Bridge Tour
  • January 27, 2018: College Q&A Panel
  • March 24, 2018: Emergency Management for Cities
  • April 28, 2018: Philadelphia Transportation Scavenger Hunt
  • June 16, 2018: End of Year Celebration
  • June 2018: 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 2016 - SEPTA Station Tour and Improvements Investigation

On September 17, 2016, WTS Philadelphia Transportation YOU (TrYOU) held their kickoff event for the 2016-2017 program year focusing on transit, urban planning, and connectivity. As the event was hosted by SEPTA, the mentees were given the following challenge: If you had endless resources, determine how you would improve the stations in Center City.

To complete the challenge the mentees, along with their mentors, broke up into groups and visited the major SEPTA stations (Suburban Station, 15th Street Station, City Hall Station) in Center City to come up with proposed modifications for improved aesthetics as well as increased mobility and safety. The mentees then compiled their great ideas by adding sketches, map, and lists to poster boards and gave a short presentation to their parents and mentors. Following the presentations, SEPTA's Manager of Long Range Planning, Liz Smith, told the group about the agency's actual proposed changes to the stations. Amazingly, many of the ideas the mentees thought of are in line with the modifications and programs that SEPTA is preparing to implement over the next few years. TrYOU sends a special thank you to SEPTA's Liz Smith!


November 2016 - Art in Transit Tour

Philadelphia has always been thought of as one of the most culturally rich cities in the country. On November 19, 2016, Burn Engineering's Erica Antoine, took the Transportation YOU girls on a tour of the amazing artwork that has been installed throughout the city. While on the tour, we visited "Momo" on 18th and Market, "Your Move" at the Municipal Services Building, and "Humanity in Motion" at the Comcast Center.

During the tour, we noticed how art can establish a sense of ownership within a community and reflect the culture of the local neighborhoods. We also noticed how art can enhance the most ordinary items such as bollards, benches, and bus shelters. After being inspired by the tour, the girls created their very own pieces of artwork using all sustainable materials and explained how each item connected to the culture of the city. TrYOU sends a special thank you to Burns Engineering's Erica Antoine!


January 2017 - Philadelphia International Airport Tour

On January 21, 2017, TrYOU had the rare opportunity to tour the Philadelphia International Airport. After gathering at Terminal A East, the group was introduced to tour guide, Denise Stith who is the Airport Support Services Supervisor and Tour Coordinator. The tour included a bus ride around the airfield where we got to see planes taking off and landing, handlers loading and unloading cargo, and de-icing of airplanes before take-off. Next, the group was able to go up into the River Watch Tower.

Following the tour, the mentees were shown a presentation about the basics of airport design from terminal design to runway layout to airport naming conventions! Then, the mentees designed and presented their own ideal airports to a very impressed group of mentors and parents. TrYOU sends a special thank you to PHL's Denise Stith!


March 2017 - College Q&A Panel and Tour of Temple University

On March 18, 2017, TrYOU co-hosted a College Q&A Panel and Tour with Temple University's Society of Women Engineers (SWE) on Temple's main campus in Philadelphia. During the first part of the event, the mentees and their parents got to ask questions to a panel consisting of undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of STEM focused majors. The panelists gave great insight on how to prepare for college in high school, how to get scholarships, the application process, and the importance of getting involved in student organizations. After the panel, Temple SWE's president, Catherine Martsolf, led a tour for the mentees in the College of Engineering building. Thank you Temple SWE!


June 2017 - End of Year Celebration

On June 17, 2017, TrYOU's End of Year Celebration for the 2016-2017 program year took place at Burns Engineering in Center City Philadelphia. The celebration was held in honor of the mentees and all of the hard work that they have put into the program throughout the school year. Transportation YOU co-chair, Kim Waters, gave a recap of the program's exciting events while the mentees viewed a slideshow of pictures taken during each tour and activity.

Following the slideshow, Jennie Granger, Assistant Office Manager for Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson in Philadelphia, spoke to the mentees. Jennie delivered a powerful and encouraging message to inspire the mentees as they transition to a new school year. Jennie stressed the importance of having a support system and a mentor to give guidance when you need it. She encouraged the mentees to never give up or be afraid to try new things and to always trust themselves when trying to do what is right. Jennie pointed out how communication is critical and how people will pass judgement based on your writing skills and how you convey yourself. She ended her message beautifully by saying, "If you take away one thing, make sure you can write."

Following Jennie's speech, gifts and certificates were given to all the mentees who were a part of the 2016-2017 program year. Many of the mentees shared their plans for internships and travel over the summer. Transportation YOU Philadelphia congratulated the 2016-2017 mentees on all of their amazing achievements!


June 2017 - Transportation YOU DC Summit

Transportation YOU's flagship conference is an opportunity for select Transportation YOU participants from across the country and their mentors to gather at a DC Youth Summit. Applications are available to all U.S. WTS chapters on a first come, first served basis. This is a wonderful opportunity for Transportation YOU's participants to experience once-in-a-lifetime tours, meet-ups with White House administrators, and cool challenges and breakout sessions culminating in a spectacular reception on the last night of the program. Check out the link below for all the details of the 2017 DC Summit!



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, Elisabeth Klawunn, P.E., bridge engineer for the Delaware River Port Authority, will be giving a presentation about the Ben Franklin Bridge and will then lead the group on a walking tour! The mentees will also learn about what makes a bridge stand up strong and put this knowledge to the test with a fun bridge building competition.


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!



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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