STEM'ing Up to the Plate
Kathryn is no ordinary fourteen year old. Instead of wearing makeup, she confesses that she would much rather wear grease. Instead of painting her nails and wearing frilly dresses, she would rather be sanding, wielding, and building. While she was twelve, an idea sparked in her mind that she would one day rebuild a car, using money that she raised herself from babysitting and sales from her wielding art. Over a thousand hours of work has been put into this incredible project, instead of spending time with her friends and going shopping. She’s gained attention from all around the world, thousands of people rooting for her success. Her goal? To finish the car before her sixteenth birthday.
Kathryn is one of the few women today combating stereotypes by pursuing their dreams in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. According to Forbes, women hold about 27% of the world’s computer science jobs, which is remarkable considering that less than 20% of all bachelor degrees in computer science are given to women. Women hold less than 25% of all jobs in the STEM industry, and are severally misrepresented (Economics & Statistics Association).
Due to the deficiency of women in the STEM work force, younger girls are not encouraged to pursue these careers. The media depicts women as teachers, lawyers, and even doctors, but rare is a movie or television show that has a female computer scientist or engineer. Without a female mentor, aspiring women in STEM careers are unable to receive needed guidance and direction.
However, the tides are turning. This is your moment to break the stereotypes and chase relentlessly after your dreams. Whether you dream of engineering, science, mathematics, or technology; you can do it. Just like Oprah Winfrey says, “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.”
Julia Schemmer, 16, lives in "Horsetown U.S.A" where she participates in several AP courses, nineteen clubs, musical theater and active community service. She loves Jesus, coffee, classic literature, and life in general. After high school, she wants to pursue being an international human rights lawyer.
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