Letters Inspire Art and Cultural Acceptance
Twelve female high school students from the Koinonia Treatment Program in Loomis were invited by the Women @ Intel Network (WIN) employee group at the Intel Corporation in Folsom to participate in the “SHE & ME” project. This program was an in-classroom event focusing on cultural diversity and the benefits of inclusion, acceptance and building healthy networks.
Patti Sarr, Diversity Communications Manager at Intel, invited 12 Intel women from around the world to write personal letters sharing their stories of being teenagers, growing up and pursuing their educational and life-long dreams in their particular culture. Each teen received a letter and did research on the letter writers’ country, the teens created collages depicting their Pen Pal and themselves, showing through their art the similarities they found between the women’s stories and their own life stories, challenges and aspirations.
The final phase of the “SHE & ME” project actually took place at the Intel Folsom campus where the students were guests at the WIN International Women’s Day Business Luncheon held on March 8th 2011, the “100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day”. After being paired up with Intel mentors, the teens participated in speed mentoring, toured the campus and hosted an art show, sharing their creations and what they learned from their Intel letter writers with all those participating in the event. All the young ladies came away from the event with a new healthy understanding that they are not alone in this world. As quoted by Kamaria S., “Thanks for the whole Intel experience. I will always and forever remember the SHE & ME project memory.”