First steps towards making STEM accessible: Jacqueline Means

Curated Story
Wilmington Urban STEM Initiative
This article originally appeared on Medium - First Steps

While a STEM education is more important than ever in our tech-driven world, women make up only 28 percent of the U.S. workforce in these fields. Opening up the exciting world of STEM to everyone starts with early exposure and encouragement. Currently, however, just nine percent of girls in the U.S. ages 13–17 say they’re interested in STEM.

17-year-old science-lover Jacqueline Means set out to make STEM both fun and accessible for the girls in her under resourced community by founding the Wilmington Urban STEM Initiative. What began with bake sales and GoFundMe campaigns to fund her idea turned into something much bigger: an initiative that’s impacted more than 1,500 girls.

Ashoka Young Changemaker Manat Kaur spoke with Jacqueline about her changemaker journey, the importance of mentorship, and the key to bouncing back.

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Ashoka insight

Having STEM skills is necessary to thrive in the 21st century, making it imperative that today’s youth is capable and prepared to live in the inevitable STEM-forward future. By leading the girls in fun, and, most importantly, hands-on science experiments, I’m showing them just how exciting STEM can be!