Synapse is pleased to announce the winner of its We Are Synapse 10-Year Anniversary Grant. IGNITE, a Seattle-based nonprofit, will receive $20,000, the result of a company-wide passion among Synapsters for the organization’s goal of empowering girls through science, engineering, technology, and math. With $10,000 of the grant going to fund initiatives in Seattle, IGNITE will use the remaining $10,000 to open IGNITE San Francisco, giving girls access to the numerous female role models working in the heart of technology innovation.

“When we originally launched this grant initiative, the goal was to celebrate our 10-years as a company by giving back to Seattle and San Francisco, the two communities where Synapsters live and work,” says Aren Kaser, Marketing and Communications Manager for Synapse. “Both our Seattle and San Francisco offices were given $10,000 and tasked with nominating and voting on which organization in their region would be the recipient. When word about IGNITE spread to our San Francisco office, it became clear that they felt just as strongly as the Seattle Synapsters about the need for an organization like IGNITE in their area.”

Recently featured in USA Today, IGNITE was started in 1999 as a response to the gender imbalance in engineering and technology. Since then, IGNITE has had a life-changing impact on more than 18,000 girls and seen female participation in high school technology courses rise from 10% to 50%.

“I’m so excited that Synapse has chosen to support IGNITE,” says Martine Stillman, an active IGNITE volunteer and Mechanical Programming Lead at Synapse. “The gender imbalance in our industry is extreme, for sheer lack of proper marketing about what engineering is. The money we donate will continue to show girls that engineering is creative and awesome, and that they can succeed.”