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By Rafalene Costanza, Director, Workforce of the Future, Pittsburgh Technology Council / FortyX80

On April 23, the L.A.U.N.C.H. Spring 2024 cohort participants were tasked to create a plan of advocacy in the form of a 5-minute talk, labeled Advocacy Unleashed. During this talk, each participant was tasked with providing a call to action - both towards the audience and within themselves. 

The goal is to provoke change within the audience, which was full of supporting family members, friends, program mentors and STEM-related companies. 

Each Advocacy Unleashed talk is just the beginning of their journeys, as these young women continue to utilize their calls to action to create a solution to the problems discussed during this day. Companies such as WisdomK12, who has created educational software that evaluates and grades students’ writing assignments and provide feedback, were in attendance to announce the winners of the first L.A.U.N.C.H. writing contest. 

All participants created a script for their Advocacy Unleashed talk, which was then put into the WisdomK12 software with a score and encouraging feedback. 

Two L.A.U.N.C.H. participants won for having the greatest increase in their score and another for using the generative feedback to create an inspiring piece. Both participants were awarded a cash prize totaling $500. After the completion of each participant’s Advocacy Unleashed talk, all attendees were welcome to network over refreshments and celebrate the completion of our now 7th cohort.