The Women’s Institute for Young Girls, Senator Holly J. Mitchell’s new district initiative launched in the Fall of 2016.
The Women’s Institute for Girls (WIG) aims to help young female residents of Senator’s Holly J. Mitchell’s Central and South Los Angeles district develop and successfully pursue careers of their choice. The Institute will provide support networks, offer exposure, and emphasize academic excellence.
Our first program, Empowering Leadership through Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math (STEAM), has been conceived to empower young women from Senate District 30 to pursue their academic and professional aspirations in STEAM related fields.
Recent research shows that African American and Hispanic girls display interest in STEAM careers, show high confidence and have a strong work ethic, but have fewer supports, less exposure, and lower academic achievement than non-Black and Latino girls. Furthermore, high school is a critical time for the prospect of a young woman’s future skills and career. A report from the Girl Scout Research Institute concluded, “Girls who are interested in STEAM are high achievers who have supportive adult networks and are exposed to STEAM fields.” Through the institute, inner-city girls will gain insight into their own potential and be inspired to reach their STEAM dream.
Our STEAM program focuses on three primary components to help girls unlock their leadership and career potential.
STEAM Experience: Each girl will participate in hands-on activities to experience the fascinating world of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics and be able to make real-life connections to what we call “school-to-higher education and high education-to-career” opportunities.
Speaker Series: Each lecture in the speaker series provides quality time in large and intimate group discussions led by women role-models such as professors, CEOs, researchers and business owners who have achieved recognition in STEAM fields. Cultivating these inspirational mentor relationships is core to fostering the growth of young women in STEAM professions.
Explore & Visits: As a group the girls will visit Sacramento to engage with state representatives on the importance of STEAM education for girls. Each participant will have further learning opportunities throughout the academic year in the form of guided tours of Google, SpaceX, the California African American Museum, California Science Center, Port of Los Angeles, and other influential STEAM companies. An important part of the institute is visiting industries around some of our state's greatest cities. These trips are designed as both educational trips and sightseeing tours tailored to STEAM.
Each participant will demonstrate their education and skills at the closing ceremony, where participants will present their final project. The program will commence in August 2016 and will culminate with a Graduation ceremony in June 2017.
The Empowering Leadership through STEAM program is currently housed at the new Girls Academic Leadership Academy in Los Angeles. The 2016-2017 inaugural class is 60 enrolled female students at the Girls Academic Leadership Academy. GALA is an environment that is exclusively devoted to the education of young women who are committed to a highly rigorous, college preparatory curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Learn more about GALA here: http://www.galacademy.org/