BY TIFFANY WHITE, GRACE ATTENDER
Five years ago, my family was on the hunt for a church where each of us would “fit”. Our list of criteria required that our new church...bBe close to our Fishers home, offer a late Sunday morning service, have a strong teen program, and provide a lively, energetic feel. Grace Church met every requirement.
As we began to look for ways to become more connected, I decided to give Women at Grace a shot. I’d been in other women’s groups. Unfortunately, they had all left a plain vanilla impression. But because Grace was different, I was hoping their women’s ministry would be different too.
The women’s group was amazing. Everyone was warm, engaging and supportive, and we enjoyed sharing our similar stages of life.
One of the studies we did was called S.H.A.P.E., Finding & Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose. I wasn’t necessarily looking for my purpose. God made me to be an Engineer (I currently work at Rolls-Royce as the Chief Project Engineer for Helicopters). Like a lot of folks at Grace, I had found some success in the secular world. I could problem solve, analyze and give acute attention to detail. Though comfortable in my engineering skin, there were times I felt a bit unfulfilled…maybe even unworthy. I didn’t seem to be endowed with any of the spiritual gifts that were evident in those leading our worship service each week. Not much of a singer, musician or speaker, I sometimes wondered if I might have been left out of God’s plan. How could I possibly make an impact on God’s Kingdom?
A small group discussion on Queen Esther changed everything. As we talked about Mordecai’s challenge to Esther …“And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" - Esther 4:14, I accepted it as my own.
Finishing our study on S.H.A.P.E., we were invited to share our calling and purpose with the large group. I felt God’s nudge to the point where I heard myself declare…
God made me a passionate expressive leader that cares deeply for the vocational needs of others. When I truly listen to their hearts, I can release their God given potential. When I see them succeed, I feel His pleasure.
I no idea what this would look like or what I was supposed to do next, but In two short weeks, God would make it clear.
As a member of the Board of Directors of the non-profit Women & Hi Tech, I have developed programs to support and engage girls and women in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM).
Now aware of my purpose, God seemed to be telling me to kick things up a notch or two.
So I brought a team of volunteers together and planned a whole new event designed to encourage under-served, middle school girls to study and pursue careers in STEM through participation in hands-on experiments, interactions with STEM role-models and fun-filled learning on a college campus. Nearly 1,000 volunteers from local companies, universities, & organizations will come together to increase the self-confidence and broaden the horizons for these 600 girls!
Ignite Your Superpower! (IYS) will be attended by female students from Indianapolis Public Schools and Warren Township Schools where almost 60% are eligible for free or reduced lunch. We host these events on school days to allow for school bus transportation to and from this free event. We are feeding the students and sending them home with a snack sack, as so many deal with food insecurity. We will also be filling their in-school food pantries with feminine hygiene products. Yes, these schools need food pantries. And yes, these 11-13-year-old girls often do not have access to feminine hygiene products and so they stay home instead of going to school one week of every month. This is happening right here in our own backyard…not in a faraway land somewhere overseas. And we are determined to continue healing this broken place until it’s no longer an issue.
Ignite Your Superpower! (IYS) is a secular event. So, there will be no organized prayer, no ministry, and no discussion of religion of any kind. Most of the volunteers are driven by their compassion for these girls or their passion for STEM education.
But there is no doubt that God will be there that day. We will see Him in the smiles of the girl’s faces and energy of the volunteers.
Every single one of us has been designed with a purpose. We’ve also each been given a unique set of talents that are crucial to achieving this purpose. My talents of clarity and resiliency have helped me fulfill my first purpose of becoming an engineer. Those same talents are showing me the road signs to the next stop in my journey. You too are on a journey to reach the purpose for which you’ve been created. Maybe…like Esther and me, you just don’t realize it. Take the time to use your talents to look for road signs on your journey. Who knows but that you were not creatively gifted and designed for such a time as this?
Fulfill Your Purpose
Volunteer. Volunteer opportunities include being a Superhero (chaperone to 5 girls) for the day, serving lunch, set up and tear down. Signup here.
Follow Us & Learn More. If you cannot volunteer but want to follow along, we invite you to connect with us on:
Twitter: @WomenandHiTech or @TJ_engineermom (my personal account). The event will be using #IYS & #GirlsInSTEM.
LinkedIn: Find me here on LinkedIn.