Athena Engineering, Inc. and Girls Inc. of Orange County Team Up to Teach Girls about Tools

Athena Engineering, Inc. Staff Members Teach a Three-Hour Tool and Construction Workshop for Girls Inc. of Orange County

COSTA MESA, CA  August 11, 2010 – Athena Engineering, Inc. and Girls Incorporated of Orange County teamed up on August 11, 2010 to teach 16 teenage girls how to use tools and build a bat house at Orange Coast Community College. The course was taught by Richard Chiera, Executive Vice President of Athena Engineering, Inc. and four other staff members: Terry Van Norstrand (Lead Estimator), Greg Edwards (Construction Manager), Alonzo Medina (Assistant Project Manager), and Athena Chiera (Vice President of Human Resources).

Girls Inc., a non-profit based in Costa Mesa, CA, hosts a month long E! Camp, in which girls ages 15-17 learn college readiness, career training, fitness/team building, and participate in a series of How To-“Life Skills” programs. One of these How To-“Life Skills” programs, Girls with Tools, sought to teach girls a basic overview of working with power tools and various hand tools. Each of the girls received a basic tool school to learn about tools and had the opportunity to construct their own bat houses using both electric and hand tools. At the end of the day, each young lady took home their own pink tool box and a completed bat house.

“Girls Inc. is an organization that I am very committed to and I couldn’t be happier to help out with this workshop,” said Athena Chiera, Vice President of Human Resources. “Men are typically the individuals that use power tools and hand tools or that are seen as the go-to for maintenance around a home. There’s nothing that says women can’t do it to, so Girls Inc. gave us the opportunity to teach these young ladies to be even more independent and self-sufficient!”

“As I expected, the girls did an amazing job and their enthusiasm for learning was so refreshing,” said Richard Chiera, Executive Vice President of Athena Engineering, Inc. “I think we might have more women in the construction field before we know it!”

Athena Engineering, Inc. is a privately held, woman/minority-owned company located in San Dimas, California. Specialties include heating, ventilation and air conditioning mechanical system installation, maintenance and service, general contracting, and building automation systems.

Athena Engineering Staff (TOP ROW): Terry Van Norstrand, Athena Chiera, Richard Chiera, Alonzo Medina, Greg Edwards / Girls Incorporated Girls and Workshop Participants (BOTTOM ROW)

About Girls Inc. of Orange County (From the Girls Inc. of Orange County Website)

Since 1954, Girls Incorporated of Orange County has utilized research-based programs to transform the lives of thousands of girls by giving them the skills to become confident, successful, and independent women.

By offering age-appropriate, research-based programs, Girls Incorporated of Orange County helps girls deal effectively with a variety of issues that they face in today’s world. These programs give girls the confidence to do things previous generations of women have only dreamed of or not known were possible:

  • pursuing careers in science, math, or technology
  • avoiding the traps of teen pregnancy, drugs, and violence
  • staying healthy in body and mind
  • asserting their point of view with confidence


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