I’ve seen firsthand how an education in math or science can change a family’s story in one generation. That’s why I wrote my master’s thesis on Latinas in STEM and launched the Eva Longoria Foundation to enable more Latinas to break the cycle of poverty. Since 2013, my foundation’s STEM education programs have helped more than 1,600 young women develop technology skills.
For Sylvia Acevedo, interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, a degree in engineering wasn't an obvious path. Today she encourages other young girls to consider STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and advises them not to be daunted by the fact that you could be the only girl in the classroom.
Toxic workplaces -- where harassment, stereotyping and bullying occur -- are driving away women and people of color, undercutting technology companies' efforts to increase diversity and costing an estimated $16 billion a year.
By 2020, STEM jobs in the United States are expected to increase by 10% (Lockard & Wolf, 2012); however, with some sectors reporting nearly 600,000 unfilled engineering jobs (BLS, 2015), declining numbers of engineering graduates cause alarm.
On December 1, 2016, my sister Taylore and I had the honor of attending the 3rd Annual MIE (Minorities in Energy Forum as STEM Ambassadors and Cyberjournalists representing my local HUD STEM Innovation Network in Hampton and the Global NetGeneration of Youth Community founded by Dr. Ronnie Lowenstein.
On Friday January 13, 2017, as ASTRA's Futurist, I traveled to NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to join Shades of Blue Founder and CEO, Captain Willie Daniels, and a Shades of Blue Chapter Board Member from DCMD, Mr. Marvin Richardson, to honor the STEM Education Legacy of the 12th NASA Administrator and former Astronaut (ret), Major-General Charles F. Bolden, with A Shades of Blue Community Outreach Award and a Shades of Blue Astronaut Reunion Commemorative Patch. It was a wonderful gathering of leaders who each possesses a deep commitment to cultivating America’s Innovation Capacity on Earth and in Space.
As a recently appointed Ambassador to the Minorities of Energy initiative, I was delighted to be invited by the Director of The Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, Dr. LaDoris Harris, to attend an official launch of Girls of Energy on December 9th 2016 at Excel Academy, the first all-girls charter school in Washington DC. This e-learning initiative has been designed to ignite curiosity and engage young minds across the globe by spotlighting exceptional women who are conquering today’s energy challenges and creating tomorrow’s technology solutions.
I was delighted to be invited by Dr. Ronnie Lowenstein to serve as a Global NetGeneration of Youth Cyberjournalist and attend an annual TC Williams High School “Noche de Ciencias,” more commonly known as “Night of Science.” Upon entering the Alexandria, Virginia High School, I was immediately welcomed by students, who then ushered me to the dining area where a variety of booths circled the inside of the room.
Techbridge is engineering a revolution for girls to change the world through science, technology, and engineering. Watch Aileen’s inspiring story.
ASTRA's Executive Director, Dr. Robert Boege and Senior Advisor & Futurist Dr. Ronnie Lowenstein were invited to join 100 other STEM Trailblazers for a dynamic day-long Round Table and Policy Forum to address issues of attracting, retaining, and advancing women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) on March 29th.