STEM Story - Yes She Can Campaign
Updated: Aug 24, 2019
- Who are you and what are your goals?
The YesSheCanCampaign is a 501(c)(3) youth-led non-profit organization that empowers, inspires and shares the stories of girls and young women who are overcoming adversity while striving to complete their education. We use live events and technology to provide educational resources and professional development to girls and young women nationwide. Since our founding two years ago, we have reached over 1,000 students nationwide, volunteered over 9,000 hours, won four national awards and opened two college chapters. Our pillars are Education, Service, Opportunity, Advocacy and Empowerment. We know through our five pillars girls and young women will continue to climb despite the obstacles, we are proof of that!
- Do you have any inspirations?
Yes our inspiration is all the girls and young women apart of our movement. We have been able to meet some of them and even read everyone’s stories. It is so inspiring to see so many girls and young women beating the odds and achieving their goals while continuing their education. We relate to them because we are experiencing similar situations and are the same age. The climb is our story!
- What caused you to start doing what you do?
I’ve already had many successes—and many obstacles—in my life. In 2015 and 2016, I won two national contests; one included a trip to South Africa with the NBA, and the other a trip to the White House to interview Michelle Obama for Seventeen. But I’ve also had hardships.
Growing up in a military family, I’ve seen the effects of war firsthand on my household. I’ve been impacted by the recession, with my mother facing unemployment for part of my life. I’ve been discriminated against and mistreated because I am a young black woman. I’ve experienced the hurdle of not being able to afford a higher education. During these times, I often wondered if anyone else was going through similar situations. That’s why my nonprofit YesSheCanCampaign came to life.
- What is your favorite thing about what you do?
I love meeting people who are apart of my organization! It is so cool to see because I remember starting this organization in my dorm room and the fact girls and young women from across the country are apart of it is incredible. I also love reading the stories of girls and young women who are apart of our spotlight program. Our spotlight program, we share stories of girls and young women about twice a month on our platforms. I then try to come up with solutions on ways we can help them and many of our programs have came from the stories that are submitted to us. Many girls and young women have trouble affording a higher education so in 2018 we focused on opportunity. We created a free scholarship course that help students apply to scholarships effectively. We produced bi-weekly opportunity lists filled with scholarships, internships, contests, jobs and more. We hosted scholarship workshops throughout the country to help students face to face. We also launched Opportunity Day partnered with The O League to provide students with a safe and supportive space to work on high school apps college apps, resumes, cover letters, contest and more. Students were able to receive assistance on anything.
We also develop workshops on different topics and STEAM is one of them because we believe it is important that girls and young women are exposed to STEM and STEAM. It is important that we as students sacrifice now so we are prepared for the future.
- Why is it important for more women to enter STEM?
I believe more women should enter the STEM field because our world is growing so is STEM, we need representation of women in the field. When we have more women in the field then little girls will be able to fully see themselves in the role.
- If you could share one thing to girls aspiring to enter the STEM fields what would it be?
I would say to never give up and to have an open mind if you aspire to enter the STEM field. You should research camps and organizations that support women in STEM for example when I was in high school I received a scholarship to attend a program called TARGET: The Academy at Rutgers for Girls in Engineering and Technology. The application actually opens on January 18 and closes February 22, 2019 (https://soe.rutgers.edu/target). The program opened my eyes to the endless possibilities in the world. Although I did not major in the STEM field, my organization is in the STEM field. I learned a lot and made friends who I still follow on social media to this day. Keep an open mind because you never know how an experience might help you!