When I was in 6th grade, I was in a tech group at my school, Tech Leaders. In the club, we helped teachers with their tech, as well as students, through videos, live class demos, or even weekly tech tips on the announcements. Throughout my 6th grade career, I noticed something. I was that something. In the tech group, I was THE ONLY girl. I had never felt this way, and it really sparked my passion for seeing more girls in STEM. When I researched the issue, I realized only 24% of the STEM workforce is female! There were 30 of us in the club, 29 boys and me.
Each year at our school, we have a night where the incoming students get to learn about clubs and activities available to them. I had the privilege to represent my tech group and talk to hundreds of new students coming to our school about joining. Through this night, I got 5 more girls on board for 7th grade, 30 more for 6th grade, and 10 more for 8th grade! One to 45 girls!
The next year, at this night, it ended up that we had 75 kids sign up for the tech group! About 40 of them were girls! Experiences like this made my dream of empowering girls and getting more girls on board with STEM a reality.
After the dream came true, it was one of many future dreams I would have. Through my 7th grade year, I participated in the West Fargo Fargo Moorhead's Chamber of Commerce's Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Throughout 30 weeks, we put puzzle pieces of ideas together, with business plans, financing plans, and even graphic designing plans. (Brainy Ladies was my business idea) At the end of the class, we had a Shark Tank investor panel. Students in the class presented their ideas to a panel of judges (local college presidents, local bank presidents, and other business leaders). At the end of the night, students received money that would be invested into their business ideas, in order for them to buy supplies and start their business. I walked in with a mindset of I can do this, but I probably won't win. I was up against graduated high school students who were about to dedicate the rest of their life to their business, and I was a middle school student on a tight schedule. I was also the second youngest. Wow. Chances were low. I walked in asking for $500 and walked out receiving $1750 and a full paid trip to New York to present my idea to the top Young Entrepreneurs in the country, as the Saunders Scholar Award Winner, representing the state of North Dakota and Minnesota. WOW!
Now, Brainy Ladies isn't a dream it's a REALITY.