Connecting Young Girls with STEM Role Models

Nepris helps show students that engineers aren’t just old men in lab coats and glasses

By: Sabari Raja, Co-founder and CEO of Nepris Inc.

Screenshot 2014-11-24 16.22.13Earlier this fall, the students in Roger Daryel Sellers’ eighth-grade science class in Fort Worth, Texas, were watching on a giant monitor as Raytheon engineer Ashton McCary described how she uses her knowledge of chemistry to keep the tiny microelectronic parts her plant produces from being contaminated.

When it was time for students to ask questions of their virtual guest, one enterprising student piped up: “How much money do you make?”

McCary, a 2011 graduate of UT-Dallas, smiled. “I can tell you the average starting salary for someone in my position is around $60,000 a year,” she said.

The sound of gasps and murmurs filled the room. Then, a host of other questions followed: Do you work on your computer all day, or is it hands-on? What kind of advancement opportunities do you have in your career? Could you describe your typical day?

Something had clicked for these kids. Not only could they see how their lessons in chemical reactions applied outside of school, but a whole new possible career path now lay before them.

That’s the kind of experience we were hoping for when my business partner, Binu Thayamkery, and I co-founded Nepris. We help teachers who are looking for experts in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to talk to their students by matching them with STEM professionals looking to volunteer in schools. We facilitate these sessions online.

A large percentage of students have no idea what STEM professionals do, or how what they are learning in the classroom is relevant to their lives. And you can’t establish this relevance without showing how STEM subjects apply in the real world. But a majority of teachers don’t have this kind of industry experience, so it’s hard to expect them to make those connections themselves.

That’s where Nepris comes in.

I’ve been in education technology for more than 17 years. For 14 years of this time, I worked for the education technology group at Texas Instruments. I started with an engineering background and then moved into business and market development roles.

I remember being in meetings where industry leaders took a whole day out of their schedules to sit down with school district leaders and discuss how they could contribute in the classroom. But at the end of the day, the reality is that everybody went back to their own busy lives. We had so many people talking about ideas, but there wasn’t an easy solution that was accessible to teachers to help integrate industry into the classroom.

In founding Nepris, we wanted to change that. We wanted to put teachers at the center of the process and give them the tools to be successful, to bring industry experts into their classroom when they think it’s appropriate. Our ultimate vision for Nepris was: How could we make industry engagement a part of the day-to-day classroom experience, as opposed to once or twice a year during career days?

After a small pilot, we did a full launch of the service in February. Since then, we’ve had more than 2,000 teachers from 750 schools in 45 states using the platform—and STEM professionals from more than 800 companies volunteer.

For me, engaging girls in STEM is critical. I grew up in rural India, where my parents own a coconut farm. It was only in my high school years at a private boarding school that I was exposed to women who were running companies, who were successful entrepreneurs—and that was far away from my hometown. Until students see these kinds of role models, they don’t really know what’s possible in their own lives.

If you look at rural school districts, they don’t have any connection to industry. They have very limited opportunities around them, so why not give these same opportunities to rural school districts that urban school districts have? That’s our goal at Nepris—to bridge geographic and gender barriers, and to show students more industry role models, especially women and minorities.

For the students in Mr. Sellers’ class, it was important to learn firsthand from a young woman engineer—a thought that Mr. Sellers expressed himself in a thank-you note to Ashton after the session was over.

“The students were so excited after talking to you,” he wrote. “Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge and profession with our students. Many of our students had the image of an old man in glasses and a lab coat in their minds when they heard the word ‘engineer.’

“Making science and math professions accessible to underrepresented populations … is a personal goal of mine, and you have helped tremendously,” the teacher concluded. He noted that after the session was over, “One of my female students remarked: ‘I could see myself being an engineer.’”

An Interview: Exploring Mentoring Relationships

Nicole Garneau

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Can you give a general overview or synopsis of your mentoring relationships?

In 2014 I’ve mentored at least 30 people (I know I’m missing some folks I connected to by phone), 26 of which are female. My support ranges from a long-distance one-hour phone call, to meeting monthly, to working together weekly in the summer on Museum projects. In terms of audience, I work mostly with high school students and older, and would categorize my mentees as high school, undergrad to graduate/post graduate, and peer mentorship.

How did you meet the high school students you mentored?

I meet the majority of the high school students I mentor through the Teen Science Scholars program. While I may start out as a mentor on the research side and write (many) recommendations, for some the relationship carries through the remainder of their high school career and into undergraduate and beyond. For example, one of my very first students I mentored at the Museum (2010), Cristal, and I still meet for dinner or coffee once a month or so.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your relationship with Cristal?

Cristal is an extraordinary woman, and one of the top 5% of students I’ve ever mentored. But, like so many students that are first generation Americans and the first to go to college, her road has not been as easy as some of my other students whose families are more established. She has faced hardships and difficult decisions to help support her family which has put college on the back burner. By continuing to mentor her, even though she is not in the workforce, she has a sounding board she wouldn’t have otherwise – someone that doesn’t have an iron in the fire, and who can giver her unbiased advice, help her continue to make connections (to both people and resources), and who continues to see her potential. In return, she keeps me aware of the issues facing millennials, particularly those from under-resourced communities. She exudes passion for realizing the potential reward in risk-taking (something we lose as we get older, I fear), and reminds me that I too have the ability to take risks.

You mentioned you also mentor older students. What do these mentoring relationship look like?

The undergraduate students are usually students that volunteer as citizen scientists in the Genetics of Taste Lab. They donate their free time to work in our community-based lab, going through training to become certified to enroll human participants into our human population study in genetics and taste, data collection, preparation and analysis (see our recent publication and a TEDx talk I gave for more info). This group is incredibly fun to work with, they are so passionate and more positive than graduate students and post-docs, and know themselves better than in high school. There is so much opportunity available at this age and stage of education, that the paths they can take are almost endless. I make myself available for coffee to bounce around ideas, to connect them to internships, to talk through graduate school options and other career options I only have a few undergrads that I work with more closely than periodic mentoring, and one in particular stands out, Emma.

I met Emma through the Lab, she volunteers as a citizen scientist. She has a fire in her though! And she quickly demonstrated her interest and loyalty to the program. When she applied for an internship with us through the Colorado Bioscience Institute, we knew she could really do amazing things. She has interned in this capacity ever since, and she and I are currently co-authoring a scientific manuscript together. She has been able to get research experience she wouldn’t have otherwise received at the community college she attends, a mentor to help her navigate her education and options, and we have been so fortunate to have such a positive and hard-working student bring so much life to a project we probably wouldn’t have pursued if not for Emma’s motivation.

Why do post-graduate students need a mentor and how are these mentoring relationships most commonly built?

The graduate through post-graduates I mentor are often lost as to where their science and STEM education can really take them. There is a disconnect between academic training (i.e. students are trained to someday become the professors and PIs) and the actual availability of tenure-track positions and the resources now-a-days to fund science research. Therefore, many of the students I mentor in this demographic are disillusioned when they realized their education and training is not setting them up for success in careers outside of academia (and the careers inside academia are few and far between!). These folks usually find me when they start exploring non-academic career routes. I will conduct an introductory meeting to learn more about the person and to see what I can do to help. It is at this stage that there is a definite value added in that I’m not just mentoring, but really sponsoring my mentees-their success has the potential to help me and the Museum not only in the future, but possibly now as well. By helping them get training and experience to secure their career, these might be folks I end up working with on future projects. So I take this mentorship and sponsorship very seriously. For folks I believe in, like Jennifer, a post doc when I started working with her, I created opportunities for engagement in teaching, speaking and programs here at the Museum. Anything which takes their academic CV and incorporates real world experiences. Jennifer found teaching was her passion, and is now employed at a local community college doing what she loves. In turn, the museum now has a direct connection to college which allows us to recruit for citizen scientists and interns, partner with student groups that align with STEM and women in STEM.

Another example, Diane, came to me realizing she loved working with the public, and following her PhD, she found she did not want to pursue a tenure-track position. After several months working together, and helping to familiarize her with the Museum world, she recently accepted a position as a curatorial assistant. In that process I gained a great museum colleague I would partner with in a heartbeat.

Can you share a little bit around your engagement with the Million Women Mentors movement?

Delighted to! Following pledging at Million Women Mentors, I formed a group of professional women that didn’t know each other, but which combined expertise and a presence across a variety of fields. The goal was to take peer-mentoring in our own hands, and forging forward with a group (we call ourselves WIP, Women In Progress) that in any given month we might tackle brainstorming, connecting, favors, or tasks that help one of us take the next step forward. We host monthly dinners, which have been a fantastic way to get together a broad sounding board of rising professionals in the Denver area.

Over the course of this conversation, the program you work with and the museum have come up time and time again. Would you share with us some information about these programs?

I direct a program called the Teen Science Scholars. This program offers high school students an opportunity to intern at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Selected students work alongside their mentors through the summer, learning how to conduct scientific research, compile data, and present their findings at tan annual Research Exposition held at the Museum at the end of the summer. This program is geared to help strengthen investigate and communication skills, as well as other professional and technical abilities.

Thanks, Nicole! Really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us.

Losing the Fear of Failure

By: Patricia Monteith

UntitledSelf-esteem issues are typically at the top of the list of scars that can stay with us for the rest of our lives.  Many teenage girls are very sensitive about how they are viewed by others and tend to constantly feel misunderstood.  So, when the unknowns and frustrations of creating a science or engineering project are the main focus of a mentoring experience, the mentor must remember their own youth and muster up every ounce of emotion, empathy and appropriate words of support — or confront dire reactions.

Almost by definition, there is an inherent uncertainty of success with science fair projects; most do not work right the first time and have unpredictable outcomes. So I try to prepare my mentees early on with a coping mechanism when the inevitable happens by letting them know that with science or engineering projects “it’s okay to fail.” I tell them the story of how Thomas Edison, upon inventing the light bulb said, “I have not failed 700 times; I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work.  When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

When the girls hit a roadblock and are all-too-quick to give up on their project, I remind them that a different approach might actually improve the end results.  I have a collection of 2 or 3 examples of other students’ projects that were greatly improved when the student developed another approach. I ask the student a series of “what if” questions to lead them in another direction which might result in a better solution, and encourage them to try several different methods to see which might work best.  There is nothing more satisfying than watching someone lose their fear of failure and begin to enjoy learning science research from trial and error.

Why I Love STEM And Mentoring Young Women

By: Eloise Golden

B.S. Metallurgical Engineering (Mineral Processing & Extractive) – Colorado School of Mines 1979

UntitledAs the daughter of a United States Navy man I lived overseas half my life before I graduated from high school. Everywhere we moved the first thing Mom would do was put all of us girls in Girl Scouts and the boys in Boy Scouts. I grew to love Girl Scouts and am proud not only to say this is my 50th year as a Girl Scout but that Girl Scouting made me who I am today. The goal of Girl Scouting is to create leaders of young women with the courage, confidence and character to become good citizens of the world and teach them they are able and capable of doing anything to which they put their minds. I embraced that philosophy and ended up becoming an engineer in the exceptionally male-dominated field of mining!

When I was a sophomore in high school I started trying to figure out what I wanted to do after graduation. I was considered a nerd! At that time no one called it STEM – it was just science and math! I loved the new computer we had at school (it used BASIC – a computer language most don’t even remember!) and I absolutely LOVED math and science – especially algebra and trigonometry! I asked a group of engineers (my first mentors) that summer, “What can I do where I can use science and math?”   They told me about engineering. Prior to that I had NO idea what an engineer did even though I was about to embark in that career. What I was too young and ignorant to know was there were very few women in engineering and even fewer in the mineral industry.

After being accepted at the Colorado School of Mines I visited the school. I clearly recall being asked whether or not I realized there were mostly men at the school. I said, yes, I had read the school statistics. Then they asked if I was aware that all degrees were related to mining or petroleum engineering and I said yes, I had read the handbook! There were so few women at the school they wanted to be sure I knew what I was getting myself into! CSM was a very difficult school both to gain entrance and also from which to pass and graduate. I firmly believe without the engineering mentors I met while in high school, the confidence I gained in Girl Scouting, and the encouragement from my parents, I would never have become an engineer.

My very first professional mentor was a man. In Sheryl Sandburg’s (COO of Facebook) book, “Lean In”, she encourages the idea that women are great as mentors for women, but it’s okay to have a man as a mentor too! My first mentor, Bill Brooks, had high expectations of me and never gave me a break because I was a woman. I remember the first big project he gave me that I failed miserably – I gave him some excuse but he said he didn’t want excuses, he wanted results. That was a tough lesson to swallow but set me up for success the rest of my life.

That is why I love mentoring young women and most especially Girl Scouts. I am a huge advocate for S.T.E.M. and scouting gives me a great opportunity to spread the word!! It gave me the courage to go after my dreams and receive my excellent education, but without my mentor I would not have become an expert in the extraction of copper, gold and silver! I loved being in the mining industry, I loved the notoriety I received because I was one of few women in mining, but I also loved knowing the accolades I received were well deserved and because of my hard work. I recently wrote to my mentor, Bill, and told him what a profound impact he had on my professional life. He was humbled and moved and grateful I had taken the time to let him know how much his support meant to me. I can only hope that someday I will find I have done the same for another young woman!

What I Learned From Mentoring

By: Melanie Mudarth

UntitledI started mentoring in one form or another when I was in college. I found I really enjoyed getting to know younger students and perhaps the teacher in me felt safe sharing my wisdom. As a teacher I am part of a mentoring program at both the school and district level, as well as online. These various avenues have given me a platform to work with new teachers and teachers who are new to science education. I also spend my mentoring time working with a high school group of girls who are focusing on STEM science fair projects.

Many of us volunteer our time to mentor because we feel like we know something worth sharing. We view mentoring as something we would do to support others. But at this time of the year, when we gather together to share what we are thankful for, I realized just how lucky I am to have gone from mentor to mentee.

I never really thought about what I would learn from mentoring. In the past few years my mentees have continued to find increasingly creative, innovative and often time saving ways of using technology, welcomed me to new technologies and been an incredible supporters as I took new steps in my professional career.

Did you know at one point I had four different calendars? And one of them was a paper one? It took about two sessions with my online mentees before someone called me out on the terrible inefficiency I was allowing to happen. In fact, one of the young women took it upon herself to make me a step-by-step tutorial, with screenshot pictures, explaining how to migrate all my calendars – work, personal, birthday, etc- into one Google calendar- that I can even access on my phone! In no time at all they were also helping me create a LinkedIn profile, update my facebook and set security measures and even explained to me how I was using the # incorrectly on my Instagram account.

These young mentees aren’t just technology geniuses, but also my biggest fans! You will never find a happier, louder more proud cheerleader than a parent. Unless of course you are mentoring high school girls. This year my mentees are the greatest cheering section I have ever had. By sharing with them my challenges in preparing for presentations and paper proposals, they have become excited for me and proud of me in a way that is hard to explain. They want me to succeed. They show their appreciate for my time and guidance by being a support that I didn’t know I needed.   Just before my last presentation, two of my mentees sent me a text, “Knock em’ dead and break a leg!!!!!” The same nuggets I share with them every time they try something new in their research or have to present on their own.

In the role of mentor feel grateful to have found young women who are learning about STEM skills and careers, but also how to support each other and build relationships. As their mentor I have had countless opportunities to flip roles and have learned a lot being a mentee to them as well.

Wright State University College of Engineering and Computer Science/ Ohio Robotics Xtreme BOTS Competition

As an academic advisor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Wright State University, Ann Wright mentors and advises students through a variety of programs. “If students are looking for a major that is going to have a lot of job opportunities, good paying jobs, engineering and computer science and STEM-related fields are something they should look at,” she said. “If they’re willing to work hard, they can get through those tougher programs because the payoff is really good at the end.”

Wright State University coordinates the college’s Student Ambassadors program, which includes about 20 select students who volunteer to help with outreach activities and student and alumni recruitment and retention efforts. Many Student Ambassadors and other students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science volunteer for the Ohio Robotics Xtreme BOTS competition, organized by Ohio Robotics Inc., and held on the Wright State campus.

Two hundred students forming 42 teams from 17 schools participated in the fall competition on Nov. 22. In Xtreme BOTS, students design and build remote-controlled robots that battle in head-to-head competitions. Wright State University student volunteers mentored the teams in the tournament, assisting with engineering questions and problems and providing support to competition staff and volunteers. Volunteering at events like the robotics competition allows Wright State University students to give back, Wright said. Many of the student ambassadors say they want to help other aspiring students because they received encouragement to pursue careers in engineering or other STEM fields. “They want to give that back to somebody because they had that experience or they just want more students in engineering and computer science,” she said. “It’s a growing field, it’s an important field for the progress of our country.”

A Carnegie-classified research university, Wright State University’s main campus is 12 miles northeast of downtown Dayton, Ohio, near the historic landmarks where the Wright brothers taught the world to fly. The university operates a branch campus, Wright State University–Lake Campus, on the shores of Grand Lake St. Marys in Celina, Ohio and serves nearly 18,000 students and offers more than 190 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional degree programs through eight colleges and three schools, including Professional Psychology and the Boonshoft School of Medicine. For more information, please visit: http://www.wright.edu.

Wright State is engaged in a $150 million fundraising campaign that promises to further elevate the school’s prominence by expanding scholarships, attracting more top-flight faculty and supporting construction of state-of-the-art facilities. Led by Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks and Amanda Wright Lane, great grandniece of university namesakes Wilbur and Orville Wright, the campaign has raised more than $107 million so far.

Xtreme BOTS is organized by Ohio Robotics Inc., a Dayton-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to help increase the number of manufacturing workers in the Miami Valley. The organization hopes to develop this pipeline by encouraging young people from middle school through college to study science, technology, engineering and math. Here are a few testimonials from those who have been engaged:

Rebecca:

Ever since I was a little, I always thought engineering was so “cool;” it represented all the things I loved – Legos, math, taking apart broken appliances and so much more. I dreamed that someday I would become an engineer. That dream started to become more real when I got to high school. My local high school offered an Engineering Tech Prep class which taught junior and seniors more about being an engineer and the connections to work environments. In joining Tech Prep, I got opportunities to learn more hands-on skills and applications related to engineering and not just the math and science aspects.

With Tech Prep, I got selected to be on the robotics team. On that team, I got to learn team building, design and working with an outside company. It was one of the best experiences that I could have gotten while still in high school. It taught me so much and reinforced my desire to become an engineer.   We also made it to Nationals my senior year which gave me a wider view of engineering beyond Ohio.

After high school, I went on to Wright State University to study Mechanical Engineering. I graduated in April 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in design. I was one of only 4 women graduating with a Mechanical Engineering degree that year. Once I graduated, I went to work for Emerson Climate Technologies where I am a Design Engineer.

When I was asked to volunteer to help out at the Xtreme Bots Competition, I jumped right on it. I want to help high school students realize that their dreams to become an engineer can come true, because I’m a living example of it. They should never give up on their dreams! I also want to help promote women in engineering. The number of women in this field has grown over the years, but it still lags and we need to keep showing young women that it’s possible.

Katie:

When I first got involved with the XTREME bots competition, I knew nothing about robotics, engineering, or manufacturing. All that I knew was that I wanted to build a wickedly awesome fighting robot that will destroy all others. To make this dream come true, our team ask for help from mentors that would become crucial in the building of our robot. These mentors include my striking physics teacher, Mr. Bixel, wood shop teacher, Mr. Schoenleb, and a fellow student, Nick. Step by step, they taught us how to solder, cut metal, and tap holes. They helped us create an effective design, and solve problems. Most importantly, they gave us the encouragement and faith that we would be able to accomplish this daunting task. In a few short months, I went from knowing nothing to building a fully functioning fighting robot, and we could not have done it without the help of our mentors. Ohio Robotics gave me the opportunity to explore the endless possibilities of the world of manufacturing. Being part of this competition made me consider a future occupation in STEM and engineering.

UST Global: Providing STEM Training to Women of Color Through Step IT Up America

UST-Global-logoSTEM education is a national priority; UST Global is dedicated and stands united with Million Women Mentors, to connect with and inspire young woman across the nation.  Our vision at UST Global is to create 5,000 new technology career jobs by 2020 for women of color. We are gratified to share our first year’s accomplishment, mentoring 300 women in the STEM field.

Step IT Up America (SIUA), a UST Global nation program provides a vital formula to train and employ women of color who live in major metropolitan communities. This long-term initiative equips the recruits with the technological skills to launch successful IT careers.  Each candidate participates in 4 months of training 8 hours per day. The women are compensated hourly for their training and then transferred to salaried positions upon mastery of all course content.

STEM creates the basic skill sets needed for innovation. Nations and humanity at large depend on innovation to solve increasingly complex problems in healthcare, resource constraints (food, water and air), energy, and shelter. Without STEM talent, our nation would fall behind – and that would be detrimental to our economic development. At UST Global, we fashioned Step IT Up America to fast-track IT education and help meet our own need for talent. We are working with local community colleges, foundations, and civic organizations to identify women who have the desire and aptitude to be successful in the program. The selected women, with our experts, structure, and processes, will be provided advanced training and career opportunities.

UntitledLos Angeles launch –Atlanta Trainee, April Blount

“This is such a great opportunity to grow and expand into the information technology field. I can tell you it is a very rigorous program. I have spent a lot of late nights up studying, a lot of late nights just preparing for the weekly tests and exams. But it is a great step up for us to thrive and succeed in the world of technology. Any woman can do this job! We have always been testers in our life—if you have an iPhone, you’ve tested, if you have an Android, you’ve been a tester. Anyone can thrive in Step IT Up, to do the job.”

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Los Angeles launch – Atlanta Trainee, Jaleesa Carter              

“Step IT Up for me is more than just an opportunity, honestly it’s a chance to transform your life given you are willing to work hard and you have that fire inside that keeps you alive and wanting to learn more. I am going to be honest: so far, we have learned a lot. I have filled up two composition notebooks, front and back, but I say all this to say that it is a very intense program but at the end it’s worth it. Before I came here, I was a teacher, and I wanted more, I wanted a challenge, and I wanted to stimulate my mind. This program has been everything and more in meeting my expectations.”

Tata Consultancy Services: A Leader of Mentoring Girls and Young Women in STEM

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Grade 9 students in Toronto, Canada learning MIT App Inventor as part of TCS goIT

By: Balaji Ganapathy, Head – Workforce Effectiveness, Tata Consultancy Services

Although women comprise half of the population and almost half of the workforce in the United States, they make up less than 25% of workers in STEM fields. Further, educational attainment rates in engineering and IT fields for women are low. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, one in seven engineers is female and less than 20% of bachelor’s degrees in computer science are awarded to women, even though they represent 60% of college student population. The issue, however, is not limited to North America. In the U.K., women hold only 13% of STEM roles and in India women only make up about 28% of the IT workforce.

Promoting advancement of women in STEM fields is an opportunity for wage equity, economic growth and social prosperity. Women with career-ready skills in STEM disciplines represent an incredible talent pool for companies like TCS, its clients and competitors. Careers in STEM and STEM-related industries offer better compensation and more advancement opportunities. In fact, women in STEM careers earn 92 cents to the dollar versus 77 cents for women in other fields.

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goIT Canada students working in groups

TCS’ approach to corporate social responsibility is guided by its strategy to create “Impact through Empowerment” around three thematic areas: health, education, and planet. It serves local communities where its employees live and work by addressing pressing issues, such as the lack of diversity in the STEM workforce. As a symbol of its corporate commitment to education, TCS is working to build a stronger pipeline of future talent STEM professionals through strategic partnerships such as with Million Women Mentors (MWM), thought leadership through computer science round tables and publications such as “Women in STEM: Realizing the Potential” with STEMconnector®, as well as its own signature pro-bono capacity building educational program, goIT.

goIT is TCS’ signature community engagement program in which TCS associates in North America aim to increase STEM education and career awareness for school children. The goIT program is offered free of cost to middle and high school students, and covers career awareness workshops, hands-on technology education, teacher trainings, and parent orientations. The program is designed to increase student interest in computer science education and awareness on the abundance of promising careers for boys and girls through in-school, after-school, out-of-school, formal, and informal formats.

Since its launch in Cincinnati, OH in 2009, the goIT program has engaged more than 8,750 students across 11 cities in U.S and in Toronto, Canada covering over 70 school districts, with promising results. This year alone, goIT attracted over 1,750 new students, expanding from 3 to 12 cities, with over 500 new employee volunteers, resulting in over 17,000 hours of high-impact skill building, computer science programming and mentoring for students, including those from underserved groups, minorities and girls.
Through its multiple partnerships, TCS leverages its IT expertise and core competency to build capability, enhance quality and improve employability. TCS and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) committed to scale up the AspireIT computing outreach program during the Clinton Global Initiative to serve 10,000 additional middle school girls by 2018. Over the course of four years, NCWIT will lead a national effort to recruit and support over 600 qualified high school and college women and 250 partner organizations that will co-create and deliver about more than 400 computing outreach initiatives, including after-school programs, summer camps, and weekend conferences.

As a proud founding sponsor of MWM, TCS pledged to mobilize 15,000 employees worldwide to serve as mentors and help guide girls and young women into STEM careers. That is MWM’s largest corporate pledge to date. TCS understands the need of a diverse workforce. The company recently reached the milestone of one hundred thousand women employees worldwide, approximately 33% of its workforce. Countering the critical shortage of women pursuing STEM fields in high school and beyond, TCS will continued to utilize its employees to serve as role models and inspire the next generation of female computer scientists and engineers.

Have you thanked your mentor? Have you thanked your mentee?

MWM Banner

thanksamillionIn true November spirit, we have launched the Thanks a Million! campaign. During the month of November, we are celebrating the impact of mentoring by thanking our top sponsors, partners, mentors, and mentees. We want you to show your appreciation for the mentors and mentees in your life!

Thank your mentor/mentee in 2 easy steps: 
1) Tweet, Facebook or Google+ a “Thanks a Million” message with the #ThankItForward and attached seal.
2) Submit your personal STEM mentoring story for our special edition newsletter (released Tuesday, November 25th) at MWM@STEMconnector.org.