BERKELEY, MO (KTVI)– The Diversity Awareness Partnership took high school freshman from both sides of the Mississippi on a girls’ trip to Boeing. Organizers wanted the ladies of color to know they can have a career in science and engineering.
“A common response is, I never even thought about that,” said Reena Hajat Carroll, the partnership`s executive director. “I never even thought that that was something I would do. I don’t know anyone in that career. So, why would I think about something like that?”
Female engineers told the students about possible obstacles.
“You hear all the time that they’re in a class of 50 male students,” said Jennifer Prose from Boeing’s education outreach. “So, just to kind of go over and above and beat those odds.”
They also gave them lots of encouragement.
“If someone tells you can’t do this, because you’re a female, you definitely can,” Prose said. Alton High freshman Taylor Shaw said she wants to be a chef, but was also thinking about a career in engineering.
“Math and science are my passion, so I thought I should probably get into a field that I like doing,” Shaw said.
The effect of the day’s program was almost immediate. Shaw said she didn’t think that she could operate any of these spacecraft, and now she thinks she can build them.
“That’s exciting, because women have gone a far way,” Shaw smiled. “Back in the day, people didn’t think that women could do all these things. Now, we can prove them wrong.”
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