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Transportation YOU & Student Outreach

WTS San Diego County’s Transportation YOU & Student Outreach Committee seeks to change the face of the transportation industry by growing the involvement and interest of girls and young women in STEM studies.

We have the following goals:

·          Educate and empower girls with regard to their opportunities in the transportation industry

·          Link girls with role models through one-on-one mentorship programs

·          Help girls build leadership skills and self confidence

·          Contribute to the diversity and creativity of our transportation workforce

The WTS San Diego County chapter provides a hands-on, interactive mentoring program at various schools in San Diego County. Through this mentorship program, WTS San Diego County offer programs and activities that will spark girls’ and young women’s interest in all modes of transportation and encourage them to take courses in math, science, and technology.

Application Now Available!

2019 Transportation You Student Application (fillable pdf)

Deadline: February 15, 2019


Transportation You


Each year, one female high school student and a mentor are selected to attend the annual Transportation YOU conference held in Washington DC. 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.

This year, following essay submittals and teacher recommendations, WTS San Diego County selected Samantha Smith, a senior at Santana High School. Samantha is enrolled in the engineering program at Santana High School, and has an interest in pursuing a civil engineering degree at San Diego State University (SDSU). Samantha will be working with Yesenia Ortega, who will serve as her Transportation You mentor. Yesenia is a junior at San Diego State University pursuing a degree in civil engineering. She is also a member of the WTS Student Chapter at SDSU. Our mentee pair will be working together, attending WTS events throughout the year.

Transportation You Summit

Our Transportation You (TU) Mentor Pair Samantha Smith and Yesenia Ortega attended the annual Transportation You Summit in Washington D.C.  Samantha Smith graduated from the Santana High School Engineering program and Yesenia Ortega is a SDSU Engineering student and the new WTS Student Chapter President.
As part of the TU mentoring program, Yesenia has been working with Sam to help her learn more about civil engineering and coursework associated with the degree. Sam is planning to complete her undergraduate courses at Miramar Community College and then transfer to SDSU's engineering program.  She has attended WTS Student Chapter  meetings and toured the campus with Yesenia.  


Read what Yesenia had to say about their trip to Washington:

"Sam and I had an amazing time in D.C. We both learned so much about the different modes of transportation and the vast amount fields within transportation. Every place we visited was phenomenal, but our favorite was the U.S D.O.T. The panelist of women were so inspirational. What really inspired us was that these women came from different backgrounds and struggles, and still became very successful in their careers. Another great thing about our trip was the location of our hotel. It was only a five minute walk to the White House! Lastly, it was truly an honor to have Marcia Ferranto sit at our table and personally discuss about the future of women in transportation. We cannot express how grateful for WTS and Transportation YOU giving us this incredible opportunity. Thank you so much." 

USDOT   White_House   TU


Student Outreach



On January 13, 2016, WTS San Diego County Chapter President, Lauren Ferrell, and Student Outreach Chair, Teresa Wilkinson, met with ten high school girls from Santana High School. The girls included sophomores, juniors, and seniors currently enrolled in the engineering track program at Santana High School. Lauren and Teresa introduced the WTS student outreach program to the girls, which includes a speaker's series, field trips, and the Transportation YOU D.C. Summit. They also talked to the girls about transportation careers and their respective backgrounds.

WTS San Diego County was invited to attend the annual College and Career Fair at the O'Farrell Charter School on March 23, 2016. Over two hundred students ranging from kindergarten to high school seniors attended the career fair and spoke to various professionals about their careers. WTS Student Outreach Chair, Teresa Wilkinson, attended the event and answered the many questions students had about career choices in the transportation field.

Construction Site Tour

Construction_Site_3 Construction_Site_1  

Check out our photo gallery for more photos of this event.

Last year, on April 7, 2015, WTS San Diego County sponsored its first-ever Student Outreach field trip to the I-805 North HOV/BRT Design Build Project construction site. The field trip was led by Skanska and Caltrans, and provided female students from the Transportation YOU & Student Outreach program a chance to explore the different careers within the transportation industry, specifically related to bridge design and highway construction. Staff from Skanska and Caltrans discussed project elements including funding, planning, environmental, design-build delivery, safety, and their personal career paths.


For More Information Contact:

Paula Ring, Student Outreach Committee


Transportation YOU Committee Chair: Jim Starling

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