Local Women's Group Inspires Next Generation in STEM Disciplines

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A local group of women is full "STEAM" ahead when it comes to getting young girls excited about careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

The enthusiasm of the Dallas Chapter of the Links is being poured into young ladies across North Texas through their STEAM Academy.

Much like many activities, the pandemic changed the way the academy was operated, moving much of their activities to virtual. It didn’t stop their mission, just made them pivot.

This year’s program had the highest enrollment in the STEAM Academy’s history with 72 scholars enrolled from nine schools across North Texas. They say their main objective is to create a clear pipeline to these disciplines for young girls of color. The women of The Dallas Chapter of the Links want young girls of color to see that even though they are underrepresented in the STEAM disciplines, they can be the generation to change that.

In addition to the hands-on experiences, they provide financial assistance and scholarships to students looking to further their education.

“They are getting through and getting hired and will encourage others,” Mary Sias of the Dallas Links. “The best mentors are students who look like them who came through the same path. They see that if those young women can do it, then they can do it too. Ultimately this is all to get them to believe that they can succeed.”

Students like Chloe Brackens said the STEAM Academy shaped her career path and she couldn’t be more thankful.

“I knew I wanted to be in a STEAM career, but I was leaning towards being a bio major or something traditional, but I will say that being part of the STEAM Academy really opened up my eyes to different careers in STEAM, not just being a doctor or a nurse,” Brackens said.

Helping students like Brackens is possible in large part to the Women Who STEAM Awards luncheon. This year’s event will be virtual on Friday at 11 a.m.  Some tickets are still available for purchase online and donations are being accepted as well to help the STEAM Academy.

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