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This week has been full of experiences in which I have been challenged and forced to step outside of my comfort zone. I will describe these experiences throughout this blog.

Monday, June 19th:

This day consisted of meeting with the Girls Inc. staff and participating in a STEM lesson that pertained to robotics. Prior to beginning the lesson, I was worried that I would not be able to fully understand the activity due to my lack of experience in coding and robotics. I tend to participate in activities that I know I can succeed in rather than activities in which I could fail.  However, I enjoyed the lesson, and my partner and I were pleasantly surprised to find that we could do basic coding. Despite being removed from my comfort zone, my partner’s encouragement and the instructor’s constant reassurance that anyone can code helped me to succeed in that activity.

Tuesday, June 20th:

During the first day of volunteer training, we discussed the qualities of facilitation and the differences between facilitating and teaching. Subsequently, we were divided into groups and required to lead a brief lesson in order to practice facilitating. I have never been a fan of speaking in front of multiple people. As you can imagine, I felt uncomfortable and challenged while participating in this task.

Wednesday, June 21st:

Upon arriving at training, we received a small piece of paper. Each piece of paper had a song title on it. I found that four other people had received pieces of paper that had the same song as mine on them. Once everyone had found his or her group based on the song he or she was given, each group was asked to sing the song while performing choreography in front of everyone else. Again, I was forced to step outside of my comfort zone and behave differently than I normally would. Later, as I reflected on this day, I realized that this activity was the “high” of my day.

Thursday, June 22nd:

I was challenged while working on the paper engineering curriculum for the Eureka! Camp. My group constructed, with paper, a theme park ride that modeled the Tower of Terror. I have always felt inadequate in moments when I am asked to engineer or build a structure because I feel that I am not creative. In spite of my insecurities, we were able to engineer a successful design.

In the moment, being challenged and pushed from my comfort zone was not enjoyable. However, through reflecting on this week, I am realizing that removing myself from my comfort zone has made me feel empowered. I have realized that I have the ability to code and to engineer! I hope that these experiences will enable me to exemplify to the Eureka! Girls that being challenged and forced from their comfort zones will result in them feeling empowered, strong, smart, and bold.