INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — “Go Red Goes STEM”: The words represent a mission, using a simple message to solve a tough problem, especially with women, nationwide.
Shelley Meador, chief human resource officer with Allegion Security, said the people organizing an effort with students are “trying to change the statistic that 1 in 3 women die of heart disease.”
For the second consecutive year, the American Heart Association has been pushing to change that statistic by getting more young women involved in science, technology, engineering and math, known to educators as STEM.
“If we can get young women involved and have a desire and interest around this, then we think that can actually happen,” Meador said.
Their Go Red Goes STEM event brought 75 high school freshman girls to The Center, 6320 Intech Way, to help guide them become a part of that change.
The girls got to experience some hands-on learning and hear from women who have become accomplished professionals in STEM fields.
“It makes me feel more empowered because mainly I see men in the field working these jobs and it’s nice to see women and it makes me feel better about entering these fields,” Lawrence North High School freshman Kortlynn Hyde said.
Storm Track 8 Chief Meteorologist Ashley Brown served as the keynote speaker for the event. She shared her experience and her journey from taking Polaroid pictures of clouds to becoming the first black woman to become a chief meteorologist in Indianapolis.
“We appreciate women being mentors to young women about their journey and to encourage them that they are the ones that should be here,” Meador said.
After looking around the room, it was a feeling Juniya Hughes almost couldn’t put into words. “It makes me feel like I can do it too,” the Providence Cristo Rey High School freshman said. “Even though women are severely underrepresented in STEM, it’s like the future is coming up.”
Organizers said they hope as the event grows, so does hope for the future of more women in STEM fields and women learn at an early age that they belong.
“The confidence that they have a place in STEM and the desire to see what that might be in the future,” Meador said.