The New York Academy of Sciences Announces 1000 Girls – 1000 Futures: A Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action
EW YORK - September 24, 2014 - The New York Academy of Sciences today announces a 3-year, $2 million Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to target and accelerate the STEM workforce of tomorrow by developing the world's most valuable resource - its women.
The goal of 1000 Girls - 1000 Futures is to provide a pipeline for women professionals in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 1000 Girls - 1000 Futures is part of the New York Academy of Sciences' Global STEM Alliance (GSA) initiative, a comprehensive program designed to engage and inspire female high-school students to study STEM fields and pursue STEM careers. For these young women, mentorship experiences highlight career pathways and provide STEM role models. The Academy will launch a pilot program in 2015, and fully implement the program in 2016 and 2017. All programming will be individually tailored to each participant's geography and interest area.
Why it matters
Urbanization. Population growth. Climate Change. Humanity is facing the greatest challenges in its history. These include unprecedented resource constraints (not just energy and materials, but even clean water and air), impacts of accelerated climate change, and increasingly ubiquitous physical and virtual connectivity. Brought about by advances in technology and compounded by the quest for economic growth, these problems demand the innovative application of science and technology. In the U.S. alone, it's estimated that 75 percent of all jobs will require STEM expertise by 2018 (with the same trends playing out in countries around the world). Yet students, particularly women, are dropping out of STEM subjects at the moment when their skills are most needed; despite the fact that women are earning 50 percent of all college degrees, only 20 percent of these are earned in the STEM fields (Achieve, Inc., 2012).
Currently, the Academy and its network of young scientists, engineers, and STEM professional mentors are inspiring thousands of middle school, high school, and college-age students around the world. In a continuation of this effort, the Academy will now foster mentoring relationships to inspire and engage the next generation of female STEM leaders.
The Program Elements
1000 Girls - 1000 Futures will increase the number of women in STEM fields through a coordinated, comprehensive program that will lead to new skills, greater engagement and ultimately, the desire to enter the STEM fields. Specifically, the program elements will include: mentoring, the development of fundamental skills, and an annual Summit. The Summit is designed to foster network creation and future collaboration by bringing mentees and mentors together for a multi-day event that will include: networking opportunities, career path options, leadership training, presentations and panel discussions.
Why it will work
1000 Girls - 1000 Futures is based on the Academy's NeXXt Scholars program, established with the US State Department and announced by then Secretary Clinton. This vital program connects young women from around the world with professional women working in STEM fields and supports them as they pursue studies in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Developed in 2012, the program included young women from countries with predominant Muslim populations (International Scholars) as well as college-appointed American students (American Scholars). The common denominator is that all were pursuing undergraduate degrees at U.S. women's colleges. The program has been highly successful, with 71 undergraduate mentees and 73 mentors participating; the retention rate for mentees is 95%, for mentors 96%.
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Stacy-Ann Ashley, Communications Associate