Former WorldChicago Professional Fellow, Tanja Madžarević, is one of the 2018 Alumni Impact Award recipients selected by the State Department for the impact they are making in their home countries after completing the Professional Fellows Program. They were acknowledged in Washington DC where they received their award, led workshops, shared their work experiences, and spoke with 200+ Professional Fellows from around the world.
Tanja began her fellowship in Chicago in 2015 at FootPrent (formerly Project Techteens) on the South Side of Chicago. FootPrent is an engaging and integrative tech curriculum that includes in-school programming, after-school programming, and mentorship. Scott L. Steward, Founder and CEO with 20 years of educational leadership experience, became Tanja’s mentor. This past month, Tanja came back to Chicago to participate on a panel at Amundsen High School to discuss the inclusion of women in tech. She demonstrated the importance of join tech club, studying math, and participating in STEM activities. She also worked on an online competition where the winners from Bosnia had a virtual meet-up and webinar with high school girls in Chicago to discuss the importance of STEM.
Tanja has created a STEM community program in Tuzla, with the help of her colleagues and friends, for boys and girls interested in the tech industry. The training programs are vocational and mostly for primary and high school youth with focus areas in robotics, app development, electronics, and more. In parallel, while working for Education Development Center Inc. she designed and implemented an internship program which was implemented in Bosnia from 2013 to 2017, for 2000 students and 200 companies. This was composed of training for and practical work on projects nominated and curated by a private partner company in Bosnia. Tanja has also supported the marking of EU Code Week, a grassroots initiative that brings coding and digital literacy to individuals. She has also organized and managed NASA’s International SpaceApps Challenge, the largest international hackathon, held in various cities around the world at the same time, within 48 hours. Through Tanja’s professional fellowship in Chicago, she gained a new skillset in tech/entrepreneurship that she has taken back to Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has brought back new opportunities and ideas for youth and teens in the STEM community. She has also returned to Chicago, reaffirming the partnership established during her fellowship with her host, FootPrent and her mentor, Scott Steward. We are thrilled that she was a professional fellow with WorldChicago and proud of her achievements that were recognized through the Alumni Impact Award!
Fellowship favorites with Tanja
Homestay in Chicago
FootPrent (formerly Project Techteens)
Favorite PFP experience in Chicago
Scott’s teaching approach. Blended learning and collaboration with the kids, such as playing music or having a personal handshake with each student, was a great experience.
Favorite Cultural experience
Everyone was very polite. During the first week I felt like I was in an American movie. It was a really positive experience.
Favorite Chicago things
Science & Industry Museum, Blue Chicago, Wendella Boat Cruise, Girl and the Goat, and an architecture around the city tour with Homestay Host Roland
Favorite Takeaway from the PFP Program
The opportunity to network with other alumni of the program in Bosnia (WorldChicago Alumni Network) and collaborate on projects that positively impact society.