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WTS Foundation Attracts High School Students to the Transportation Industry at the DC Summit

June 26, 2019 09:00 AM


Sixteen young women from across the U.S. and their mentors will participate in the eighth annual Transportation YOU DC Youth Summit, a conference for students designed to introduce, inspire, and guide them toward a future in STEM studies (science, technology, engineering, and math) and a career in the transportation industry.  


Hosted by the WTS Foundation, the five-day summit, which kicks off on June 26, 2019, celebrates some of the brightest young girls from across the country. Upon the Summit’s conclusion, these future leaders of the transportation industry will have established a national network of high-profile women transportation professionals, as well as an awareness of the variety of exciting and rewarding careers in the transportation industry. The Summit attendees include the 16 mentorship pairs as well as the WTS volunteer event committee members, university representatives, WTS staff and the WTS Board Chair. 


Participants will travel to the US DOT, the Reagan National Airport, the Senate Building, the U.S. Capitol, The National Mall, Turner Fairbank Research Center, and George Washington University, while incorporating an academic challenge, college and professional planning, and encouragement of VIPs from both the public and private sectors. 


The unique agenda was developed by WTS International members and supporters. The steering committee itself included a group of seasoned transportation leaders. This year's committee members were Britton Hammit, Kimley-Horn; Sara Stickler, WTS International; Maggie Walsh, HDR; Karen Good, City & County of Denver; Kimberley Kinnison, King County Metro Transit; Jasmy Methipara, USDOT; Rachel James, Federal Highway Administration; Roxanne Feige, Atkins; Margaret Avis, WSP; Marissa Kunerth, a4 Media; Denise Arriaga, Orange County Transportation Authority; Courtney Bierman, CIANBRO; Niki Lambrou, BGE, Inc.; Jillian Barcena, Burgess & Niple; Kyla D’Sa, the George Washington University; Raina Carroll; and Elizabeth Patel, Federal Highway Administration amongst other volunteers.  


The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University (PSU) created a unique challenge project for the students. Lea+Elliot provided scholarships, without which the Transportation YOU DC Summit would not have been accessible to some of the 2019 program participants.  


True to the established DC Summit curriculum, the robust itinerary of the program’s academic challenge, meetings with administrative officials, and rare glimpses behind the scenes of some of the country’s most critical transportation entities—not to mention the fascinating makeup of the participants—set the stage for an environment of learning, exclusive access, and networking at a level that will provide for unique entre into the transportation industry when participants choose this path once they have completed their studies. 
"The Transportation YOU DC Summit program is an important aspect of our mission to develop the next generation of transportation leaders and increase the accessibility of the industry. Practically speaking, it’s inspiring to see how curious and bright this year’s cohort is and reinvigorates the professionals involved in the program in relation to their own work,” said Sara Stickler, Executive Director, WTS International. 






The WTS Foundation, created in 2009, is the philanthropic arm of WTS International, and helps achieve its mission of equity and access for women in transportation.  The Foundation supports the next generation of transportation professionals by attracting young women to the industry through scholarships, education and research. 





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