Girls Inc.—a Sarasota nonprofit organization that is one of New College’s internship partners—selected 20 young women from Sarasota County to participate in the inaugural cohorts of the Eureka! Program last year, and the tradition continued this summer.
This advanced, five-year personal development and sports initiative for girls entering eighth grade was designed to combat the fact that women only make up about 28 percent of the current STEM-related workforce, according to the American Association of University Women.
“The Eureka! Program is a life-changing program for our girls,” said Girls Inc. President/CEO Angie Stringer. “We are so thankful to have such a strategic partner in New College and look forward to many years of working together.”
While Girls Inc. offers after-school and summer programming at their site on Tuttle Avenue, the Eureka! Program is held on the New College grounds. The partnership allows girls, many of whom will be first-generation college students, to imagine themselves on a college campus.
This summer, participants in the Eureka! Program conducted detailed scientific research, gave presentations with professors and staff, and engaged in engineering projects at New College. The students learned stage combat in a hands-on workshop with Assistant Professor of Theater and Performance Studies Diego Villada, Ph.D.; watched a presentation by Professor of Physics Mariana Sendova, Ph.D.; learned about astronomy from recent statistics and applied mathematics graduate Joshua Ingram; and took and a campus tour with the New College Admissions team.
“We were so pleased to host Girls Inc.’s Eureka! Program on our campus over the summer,” said MaryAnne Young, the executive director of the New College Foundation. “Building community partnerships is crucial to New College’s success, and we were so glad to introduce these girls to a college science environment. We hope some of them join our campus community in a few years.”
Eureka! programming continued throughout the school year at Girls Inc. until Summer 2022, when the girls returned for another intensive experience at New College. In the latter years of the program, girls will participate in paid internships that focus on their college plans and career goals.
The mission of Girls Inc. is to inspire girls ages five and older to be self-confident, responsible and well-rounded through educational and sports programs. The organization equips girls to navigate gender, economic and social barriers, and to grow into healthy, educated and independent adults.