inspiration

K-12 Influencers: Dana Wile

“But tension is to be loved
When it is like a passing note
To a beautiful, beautiful chord”
-Tension is a Passing Note by Six Pence None The Richer

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I am a high school counselor in Pennsylvania. My background is in college advising and community advocacy prior to becoming a school counselor. I have a passion for using tech tools to help me be efficient with my time, so I can spend more time engaging with students. I advocate and seek out information about tech careers because I know computer science knowledge is going to be needed for all students to be successful in the future.
One fun fact about me is that I have been to 48 of the states in the USA and collecting National Park passport stamps since early childhood.

Superpower-Mudderella
Dana and a team of educators competing in a race. T-Shirt reads “I am a School Counselor, What is your superpower?”

Favorite website / app:
I really like to explore add-on with google apps to help automate some of my work or make tools more efficient.

Dana-GraduationwithJeff
Dana during graduation from Masters in School Counseling Program with her Husband, a Computer Science/Mathematics Teacher

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
I have been very inspired by people who slow-down, listen to others, and find ways to be giving human-beings. Various people have come in-and-out of my life that inspired me in this way. One such example is a friends mother who used to take time of her busy day to help in others in need. I remember one night with her family she was complaining in the car-ride home from an event that she still had to get her five kids ready for a beach trip the next day and how tired she was from the event that day. A few minutes after talking about how busy and tired she felt, we saw someone on the side of the road that needed assistance. With no debate or hesitation, she stopped to help this bystander. She knew the to-do list would always be waiting, and the chance to make-a difference in someone’s life always took top priority.

Dana-Cityearconsturctionproject
Dana with a team of City Year corps members after a day of physical service

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
After hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, I decided to do a year of service in AmeriCorps before going to college. That experience in City Year Louisiana doing physical service in the clean-up effort and running after-school programs with a diverse group of young adults was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences. I stepped out of my comfort zone to move hundreds of miles from home at a young age. I learned that it is important to be humble when working in a diverse team to really slow-down and listen to others. My time in AmeriCorps really opened my eyes to my own skills and how I could use it in a future career.

Dana-backpacking
Dana and husband hiking park of the Appalachian Trail

Describe what it means for you to be a K-12 Influencer in STEM.
As a school counselor, it is important to take the opportunity to help students integrate it into their future plans. My daily life inspires me to advocate for more technology/ computer science, because I use it every day and often wonder if an educator or a women had created the technology- would it work much better? If more educators knew how to code, the software we use to manage education (grade books, schedules, college searches, etc) could possibly operate much better.

Dana-CityyearTeam
Dana and team in City Year in Louisiana


What knowledge would you impart to other K-12 Influencers in STEM?
Encourage your colleagues and students to not be afraid of technology. Too many teachers and women learn to say “I am not good at this stuff”, when in reality, they are doing just as well anyone else.

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