This week, Million Women Mentors, in partnership with South Carolina is proud to announce 5,000 new commitments to mentor a girl or young woman in STEM skills. The national goal of the movement has garnered over 1.8 million pledges for mentoring girls or women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) professions in four years, to collectively increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women in these academic areas. Over 800,000 of these pledges have been completed thus far. South Carolina is joining over 40 states by pledging 5,000 mentors.
MWM-SC will host its first STEM Symposium on Wednesday, May 17 at River Bluff High School in Lexington, SC. Speakers include Molly Spearman, South Carolina Secretary of Education, Sheila Boyington, President, Learning Blade and State Chair for Million Women Mentors and a student panel sharing their mentoring experiences.
National companies and organizations like BP, PepsiCo, TATA Consulting, DuPont, Cisco and Apollo Education Group, are also committing to mentor girls and young women in STEM fields. By taking the pledge at www.MillionWomenMentors.org, states, organizations and corporations are committing to mentoring a young woman for a minimum of 20 hours through suggested mentor pathways.
MWM-SC is being led by the only student leader nationally, Iriana Molusky, a 2017 graduate of River Bluff High School in Lexington, SC who plans to pursue her education The University of Alabama as a civil/construction engineering major. Molusky’s passion for STEM started as an elementary student who participated in LEGO Robotics and building with LEGOs. Through her volunteering and personal education experiences, she recognized the lack of girls in STEM classes and activities. Iriana commented, “As a high student, I realized the challenges that exist for girls interested in STEM. Bringing MWM to SC will help girls and young women pursue mentoring relationships to support their interest in STEM.”
South Carolina has recruited high paying STEM-related jobs to the state and has an excellent PK – 16 educational system to support STEM education. By communicating and engaging current employers, civic organizations, and our communities about the available support for women and girls interested in STEM careers and of the need for additional support, it will ensure that South Carolina has a future workforce that will continue to meet the long term needs of its employers and its citizens. “As a technical college administrator, I am excited to see South Carolina join the national Million Women Mentor movement of advancing women and girls interest and confidence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Careers and education,” remarked Dr. Donna Foster, Piedmont Technical College. Corporate involvement is also critical in the movement and several companies are engaged including SCANA Corporation. Chris Brady Wolfe from SCANA, stated “Mentoring is important to our business community because it serves as an impactful tool to develop people through trust and relationships, and that’s what great business is all about. Mentoring someone can make a huge impact on somebody’s career and life, just as it did on mine.”
“As a nation, women are underrepresented in STEM fields with 50 percent of the entire workforce in all fields being women, but only 24 percent of workers in STEM fields are women. The Million Women Mentors movement is working nationally to change that and we are excited to welcome SC to 42 states engaged, “ said Sheila Boyington, MWM National States Chair.
MWM-SC Steering committee is represented by:
• Dr. Ashley Daugherty, Nephron Pharmaceuticals
• Dr. Donna Foster, Piedmont Technical College
• Latia Gary, Westinghouse
• Carmelina Livingston, S2TEM Centers SC
• Iriana Molusky, State Chair, River Bluff High School Student
• Mary Molusky, Community Volunteer
• Dr. Kaye Shaw, SC Department of Commerce
• Chris Brady Wolfe, SCANA
• Ebony Young, Unique Interventions for Youth
• Justice Young, Anderson University, Student
About Million Women Mentors
Million Women Mentors, a community outreach effort of STEMconnector®, is a movement to have millions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) mentoring relationships to increase the interest and confidence of girls and women to persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers. MWM is an initiative of STEMconnector in collaboration with over 60+ partners reaching over 30 million girls and women, 45+ corporate sponsors, and 40+ state leadership teams. To learn more, visit http://millionwomenmentors.org/