Her Spark asks Chris Myers, senior delivery manager at Cisco Support Services (TAC) and Her Spark's former Strategy lead, Five Questions. Here’s what he had to say!
Q1: Who is your favorite female role model and why?
My mother, Rhonda Myers, will always be my favorite female role model. She is able to do anything she puts her mind to and she leverages financial and social challenges to drive innovation and success.
Upon graduating high school, my mom developed an interest in woodworking and started making and selling toy chests. With her profits, she bought more tools and started making shaker furniture. Her passion for building furniture inspired her to teach a furniture making class at a prison in Lincoln County.
When I was three years old, we moved to Louisiana. My mom began teaching industrial arts at a middle school located in a rough part of town, and she made it her mission to encourage success and the exploration of the industrial arts. To this day, her students from Henry Ford Middle School will reach out to her to thank her for her efforts and commitment to their educational development.
In the early 80s, Mom purchased a Vic 200, one of the first personal computers to teach computer programming. She started a summer camp called EdUcake with the goal of making programming easy and fun to learn. Before she knew it she had trained over 200 teachers and grew the summer program to span 15 locations. When school started back that fall, she was not allowed to teach programming because she did not have a degree; but this did not slow her down. She learned how to use AutoCAD and became one of the first AutoCAD trainers in the Gulf region.
After traveling to train architects, engineers and rocket designers at NASA, my mom found her way back to the high school classroom. Since then, she has been able to launch an SAT training curriculum and a reading and vocabulary program for toddlers. In addition, she designed and submitted an office exercycle patent and began her own classical art painting school. My mom still teaches European classical style painting.
“Resourcefulness is not something you can teach, but sometimes, wanting something is enough to set a fire under you, and you will make things happen.”- Rhonda Myers
Q2: What are you reading right now? Or what’s next on your reading list?
My wife and I have recently finished Just Jones by Andy Andrews. He also wrote one of my favorite stories, The Noticer, which is about an individual who helps others discover new perspectives and build a better life.
Q3: What’s the best career or academic advice you ever received?
The best career advice that I have ever received is “to lead is to serve.”
Q4: Her Spark’s mission is to equip girls with the STEM skills and opportunities to succeed in the careers of tomorrow – dedicated to solving gender disparity in computer science, engineering and technology careers. What does the Her Spark mission mean to you?
Her Spark’s mission shows young ladies a path, to reach their goals and destinations in life, that they may not have considered otherwise. It gives them a community of peers and mentors who lift them up and encourage their success.
Q5: For the last several years, you’ve influenced so many girls through the Summer Summit and different Ignite events. What is your favorite part of Summer Summit?
My favorite part of the Her Spark Summer Summit and Ignite events is when the amazing guest speakers share their stories and paths to success. The events that I have had the honor of attending have reiterated a strong theme: “If you can see it, you can be it.”
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About Her Spark
Founded in 2017 by professional women and business leaders, Her Spark is dedicated to solving gender disparity in computer science, engineering and technology careers. Her Spark’s mission is to equip girls with the skills and opportunities to succeed in the careers of tomorrow. For more information, to learn ways to get involved or to make a donation, please visit HerSpark.org.