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Our Origin Story

#LeadFearlessly

Linda Kekelis’ Story

Linda Kekelis

Our founder, Linda Kekelis, shares her thoughts on supporting girls in STEM, shaping the Techbridge Girls experience, and leading fearlessly.

Leading fearlessly doesn’t mean not being fearful. I think it means acting in the face of fear, being able to confront fear and get through it and recognizing that it can be uncomfortable and scary and hard. That’s kind of how girls have to be in a Techbridge Girls program -- you can have that feeling but not let it hold you back from doing things.

I felt then and now it really takes a network and a village to support girls in STEM. So very early on I realized how important it was to make a career connection for the girls. For me, the whole passion for my work comes from who it’s for. There’s no way that I could give up on the girls knowing who the girls are. One great experience I had was at the start, being on the ground and knowing who girls were and visiting programs, so whether it was going after grants or an HR issue or figuring out new technology, all that was secondary to who we were doing it for, so there was no way we could give up on that because it was such important work. Chemical Engineering

I think there’s not just one ideal quality in a leader because I feel like it’s not a one size fits all for leaders. So I really feel like leaders need to be themselves and that can be very different. For some people it’s being very brash and bold if that’s who they are, for some it’s being humble and quiet because that’s who they are. Leaders need to hold on to their personal style, so girls looking up can see that they can be themselves, and not feel like she has to be a particular girl or woman or leader. This to me is Leading Fearlessly.

Click here to learn more about Linda's leadership journey and the start of Techbridge Girls!