Women’s Audio Mission: Volunteer Spotlight


This semester, San Francisco-based nonprofit Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) partnered with Citizen Schools to teach apprenticeships at two of our middle schools in Oakland: Roots Academy and Greenleaf.  The apprenticeship, called Girls on the Mic, educates girls about audio technology, recording and sound engineering through music and media. The goal of the program is to drive girls’ interest in STEM and introduce them to technology-based careers in a traditionally male-dominated field.

Kelley Coyne from WAM taught Girls on the Mic at Greenleaf Elementary School this semester, and has been an integral part of this partnership. Since first volunteering as a Citizen Teacher with Citizen Schools in 2013, she has taught over 12 apprenticeships at our Oakland school partners. She says the most rewarding moments from her apprenticeships are when girls tell her they “want to become a sound engineer” or didn’t “realize coding wouldn’t be that hard” and often “transform from shy and timid to adventurous class leaders within a semester.

“(Volunteering) is not only about giving girls the tools they need to express themselves, but also about building a community of women and girls in audio through my work.” - Kelley Coyne

We in California are are proud to honor Kelley as Volunteer of the Year at this year’s benefitED event on May 1, and are extremely grateful for the efforts of Kelley and all those who have volunteered with us from Women’s Audio Mission.

WAM is working to close the critical gender gap in creative technology careers using music and media. Their work inspires over 1,500 underserved women and girls every year to pursue STEM and creative technology studies - and empowering them to amplify their voices to become innovators of tomorrow. Additionally, WAM is home to the only professional recording studio in the world built and run by women.