Happy Motivational Monday everyone,
Sorry I have been so absent lately, college tours are really taking the life out of me. However, somewhere in between all the crazy traveling I found the time to interview one of my best and oldest friend, Nicole. She is a Senior at the Pinecrest school in Ft. Lauderdale Florida and has been heavily involved in the STEM field, which includes Science, Engineering, Technology and Math for the past 6 years. Her main interest is in the Biological Sciences.
A little bit about women in STEM, according to the U.S Department of Commerce, women hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. Although more women are getting degrees in STEM, not as many are going into the field. Shockingly, studies have found that as early as 8th grade, girls’ and boys’ attitude about science and math diverge, causing boys to be more interested in the fields, leading to to discrepancy in STEM fields.
The opposite however happened to Nicole who became interested in this field in the 6th grade. Nicole used our middle school’s science fair requirement to explore the area of science that she was interested in. Starting with Environmental Science, her projects have grown more in-depth from testing coral to finding a cure for cancer (yes, I am completely serious.) Locally, she has looked at environmental factors (global warming and water pollutants) and how they affect coral health, since reefs play an importance part of marine ecosystems all over the world.
Over the summer, Nicole participates in research projects including programs at University of Florida and M.I.T (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) where she was able to explore different areas of science. She even had the opportunity to work in a lab with viruses and looked at a virus, not harmful to humans, that could potentially kill cancer cells.
Her words of wisdom to young girls who are interested in STEM. “Don’t be afraid to pursue what you’re interested in.” Fields like Physics, Math and Computer Sciences have been historically male driven. Although the number of women involvement has gone up within the past few years, the number is still skewed. In her words, “If that is what you are interested, don’t be afraid to purser that with everything you’ve got.”
In the future, Nicole wants to study Molecular Biology, but just like any high school senior starting the road to adulthood, she knows to keep an open mind because college classes may change her perspective. She does however have great schools to choose from which she has been accepted to including: Yale University, Columbia University, M.I.T, Vanderbilt University, University of Florida, Stanford University , Barnard College, Johns Hopkins University and Duke University. She is also a Coke a Cola Scholar, which takes 150 students out of 87,000 applicants. It is base on extra curricular activities and community service involvement.
Although the number of women involvement in STEM is going up, the rate isn’t fast enough. We as women are fighting for gender equality in the workforce and in the public’s eye. We need to start reminding the young women in our society that the can study and be anything they want. Try to remember to motivate young girls to achieve the impossible and to break down any barriers that exist. There are so many wonderful women to look up to, like Nicole and that young girl who you could inspire can become one of the greats.
You can check out the video with Nicole below! Enjoy