My transformative moment was when I became involved with the GirlsComputingLeague (GCL). I've always been passionate about math, science and coding but couldn't imagine how my skills in those fields could make a meaningful contribution before earning a college degree. GCL introduced me to machine learning and it's endless possibilities. This was life changing for me because I felt empowered. Believing my continued contribution to my project could potentially change thousands of lives has been a great motivator. Please watch my 10 minute educational video explaining my machine learning project.
We completely agree with everything you've said and have often felt the same way. We are also in Northern Virginia. If you'd like more people involved in your mission we'd be willing to help. I just added you to our applauds.