On March 14th, Communities in Schools invited 25 eighth grade girls from Coan Middle School to attend a college access conference focusing on S.T.E.M and nonconventional careers for women. The event was held at Georgia Institute of Technology and was funded through a College Access Challenge Grant (CAGC). The young women were privileged to receive special mentorship from motivational speakers in the fields for science, math, and technology. The events included breakout sessions about college and career planning, a tour of the campus, and hands on S.T.E.M. activities. Lunch and transportation to and from the event was sponsored and coordinated by CIS.
The students had a fantastic experience learning about the opportunities for girls in S.T.E.M. careers. Kiara Mahoney raved, “I had a great time on the trip to Georgia Tech. (The college) has so many opportunities for different classes. It made a huge impact on my life!” The breakout sessions included topics such as Dollars for S.T.E.M. Scholars, Why Geek is the New Chic, Think College Now, and S.T.E.M. Resources form Texas Instruments.
This event provided students the opportunity to begin planning for college and their future careers earlier than most. Vickie Johnson, Coan Middle CIS Site Coordinator, was extremely impressed with both the level of exposure provided to the girls as well as the projected impact on their futures. “The students were engaged and excited about meeting the CEO of Lockheed, an African-American female. They asked for more activities like this in the future.”
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has been leading efforts for the CACG grant since 2008. Communities in Schools of Atlanta (CIS) has been making a difference in the lives of the students at Coan Middle School since 2006. This was the first opportunity for the Atlanta Public Schools CIS community to participate in this event.
For additional information, please visit http://www.cisatlanta.org.