This is the story of Elizabeth Engele and Julia Haried who founded MakerGirl, a non-profit organization whose mission is to impact young girls across the country. The organization originally offered 3D printing courses only at the University of Illinois, and over time, special coding and robotics classes have been added to strengthen the learning phase of girls.
The two founders also decided to expand to new heights: learning sessions are now carried out at Northwestern University as well. In a few times, the organization will also organize sessions at DePaul University. With the finalization of this partnership, MakerGirl will be present in most universities in the Milwaukee area and beyond.
“I’ve been amazed building a company and how incredible it can be when you pull out the strength of every individual ChangeMaker,” said co-founder Elizabeth Engele ’15 BA, a Nashville, Illinois native, and Lakeview resident.
Engele, now a full-time employee at LinkedIn, said Gies Business was a huge key to MakerGirl’s success and growth.
“Being at Gies helped in so many ways,” said Engele, citing The Hoeft Technology & Management Program minor, the social entrepreneurship class, and networking events that created a foundation to build MakerGirl.
Those thoughts were shared by fellow MakerGirl co-founder and Gies graduate Julia Haried ’15 ACCY, ’16 MAS, a St. Ignatius College Prep graduate and resident of Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood.
Haried, a full-time employee at Deloitte in audit and assurance, said: “The Gies College of Business supported the launch and growth of MakerGirl in many ways. During a Gies study-abroad lunch in 2013, a friend told me to check out a social entrepreneurship class he was assisting with that was cross-listed between the Gies College of Business and the School of Social Work. In that class, the idea was born and incubated by myself and co-founder, Elizabeth Engele, and supported by course instructors. The idea was further launched in the iVenture Accelerator, a Gies-supported venture accelerator that gave us $10,000, mentorship, and a summer to grow MakerGirl’s impact at the Research Park. Because of these experiences, I was challenged and encouraged to solve a big social problem. It enabled me to continue my commitment from St. Ignatius College Prep to be ‘a woman for others.’”
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