Latinitas En STEM

The Latinx share of the U.S. population has steadily increased over the past fifty years, yet the demographic still makes up less than 10 percent of STEM graduates and the STEM workforce. Frankly, many students and families are not aware of the STEM opportunities available to them. Couragion’s mission is to broaden participation in the STEM fields and to inspire underrepresented youth to pursue STEM credentials and competencies.

Last week Couragion supported an amazing event called Latinitas En STEM for the second year in a row. This 3-day event is sponsored by the Rose Foundation and Imaginarium-Denver Public Schools in partnership with Denver Startup Week. The event is designed so that young Latina middle schoolers can meet successful STEM professionals to build awareness, motivation, and preparation towards careers in STEM. All the girls are invited to participate in a special panel discussion during Denver Startup Week to discuss what they learned and gained from their time together.

Couragion’s co-founders held a career exploration workshop for the girls while also highlighting our personal longevity in the technology sector. In our efforts to create a new STEM identity based on Couragion research and insights, we wanted to share some fun facts about the Latinitas’ interests, values, and desired work characteristics:

  1. Frequent Flyers – Willing to travel 2x per month for work
  2. The Bachelor – Prefers to complete 4 years of postsecondary education
  3. Big Hearted – Having a job with a greater purpose is important
  4. Creative Genius – A high desire for a job that utilizes their creativity
  5. Scholar – Learning new things on the job is very important

We pride ourselves on featuring role models who mirror a diverse demographic – and it was heartening to see so many of the girls select role models in the Couragion app who looked like them! Couragion’s roots run deep with this program in that not only do Laura and I support the career exploration workshop – but 3 other Couragion role models featured in our application also supported the event.

  • Dr. Violeta García is the Latinitas in STEM program champion and facilitator who worked tirelessly to recruit the incredible volunteers and design an engaging agenda. She is an entrepreneur and the founder of STEM Learning by Design.
  • Vanessa Diaz is the Vice President of Market Insights at Transamerica. She hosted a group of Latinitas onsite in her office where they got to visit 3 STEM women on her team: a data engineer, a data scientist, and business analytics engineer.
  • Dr. Nicole Garneau is the Curator of Human Health and Principal Investigator of the Genetics of Taste Lab at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science where a portion of the event was hosted. Dr. Garneau led a ‘meet the scientist’ session and is an advocate for women in science.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 - October 15, 2017. Are you aware of any more activities to support this annual observation?

@DrVioletaGarcia @yopearlscigirl @imaginariumDPS @DenverMuseumNS

Melissa RisteffComment