Children review science-related demonstrations.

Engaging the leaders of tomorrow

Engaging the leaders of tomorrow

The National Take Our Daughter and Sons to Work Day, founded by the Ms. Foundation for Women in 1993, has become a globally celebrated event. Its mission is to empower children to explore career possibilities and envision themselves as future leaders. On April 25, WAPA’s Headquarters staff proudly reinstated this tradition, marking the first in-person gathering for this event since 2019. The goal was to offer children a glimpse into the multifaceted world of WAPA and learn about its diverse roles and occupations. 

Reflecting on the event’s preparation, event coordinator and Management Analyst Erika Armani shared a surprising observation, “Initially, only a handful of employees signed up, but as word spread, interest went through the roof. We ultimately hosted 32 children.” The day unfolded with various activities, allowing the kids to engage in the daily rhythms of a professional environment. 

Armani expressed optimism about the event’s impact, “I hope the kids will discover that WAPA is a pretty cool place to work and become inspired by some of their parents’ work. Maybe they will consider becoming future WAPA employees!” 

The event coordinators’ dedication ensured that participants of all ages were involved throughout the morning. Event coordinator and Management Analyst Danielle Gioso shared the approach, “By grouping children based on age, we adapted activities to suit their ages, ensuring that each experience was meaningful and appropriate.” 

Drawing from past successes, she shared insights from previous events that guided efforts to keep activities engaging and successful.  

“Since we’ve done this event before, the programs that contributed shared ideas that worked well in the past,” Gioso explained. “This way, we know how to keep the kids interested while they learn about WAPA, ensuring that good memories are left with every child.”  

Photo student building a tower with marshmallows and pretzels
Photo students watching a demonstration.
Photo students participating in a demonstration

Interactive learning sessions

Various offices made this year’s event possible. Appreciation and recognition go to the Office of Security and Emergency Management for their invaluable assistance in orchestrating a seamless check-in process, to the WAPA Employee Association for sweetening the morning with delightful treats for attendees, and WAPA’s Aviation, Public Affairs and Digital Control Systems Lab staff for their exceptional flexibility in providing engaging demonstrations and insights in their prospective program areas. 

Under the guidance of Vice President of Technical Services Steve Yexley and Digital Media Services Manager Alex Stephens, children explored areas of Aviation, Human Performance/Just Culture and Energy Services through captivating drone demonstrations. Electrical Engineers Josh Moyers and John Bryce treated participants to an exciting interactive showcase of the Digital Control Systems Lab, providing hands-on demonstrations that sparked curiosity. Additionally, the children had the unique opportunity to engage in Public Affairs interviews, sharing their perspectives and insights in a dynamic setting. 

Special recognition is reserved for the tireless efforts of room parents and event coordinators Armani and Gioso, whose dedication and leadership were instrumental in organizing the event’s success. 

The event showed how education and mentorship can make a big difference by inspiring kids and helping them become future leaders. According to one appreciative young participant, the best part of WAPA is its Aviation program. “What I love about Aviation is controlling the drones because you can see everything as if you were a bird. I had fun at WAPA trying things out and learning about stuff I didn’t know about.” 

Photo: woman speaking to a group
Photo demonstration in an electric lab
Photo electric demonstration
Photo electric demonstration

Photos: Bring your kids to work day at headquarters. Kids got to explore the electrical lab, public affairs and technical services and aviation departments.

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