South by Southwest has named Girlstart Executive Director Tamara Hudgins to its Interactive Hall of Fame for 2015.
SXSW is honoring Hudgins for her work in expanding and developing the Austin-based nonprofit organization since 2009.
Girlstart, founded in 1997, runs programs to empower girls in the fields of Science Technology Engineering and Math, known as STEM. The goal is to encourage more girls to enter into STEM fields. Under Hudgin’s leadership, the program has grown from reaching 1,500 girls, teachers and family members in 2009 to more than 15,000 last year. Also, the program now offers 45 after school programs, up from four in 2009. Girlstart also offers a 22 week long summer programs, up from eight. And it has expanded to six states nationwide.
Girlstart offers programs in the Bay Area, Seattle, Chicago, and other urban centers. It has also partnered with companies like Dell, AMD, Freescale, Google, Motorola Solutions, National Instruments, and 3M to develop STEM education programs.
“This is an honor that reflects the work of the entire Girlstart team, and shows the importance of programming that inspires girls to pursue STEM fields of study and STEM careers,” Hudgins said in a news release. “While we’ve come a long way as an organization in our first 18 years, we’re setting our sights on making even more of a difference in the years to come.”