Post Date and Author: 
- by  Abby Weingarten

To encourage young girls to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, New College and Girls Inc. have launched the Eureka! Program.

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.”

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 over the summer.

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.

Throughout the summer, participants in the Eureka! Program conducted detailed scientific research, gave presentations with professors and staff, and engaged in hands-on engineering projects at New College.

“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 will continue throughout the school year at Girls Inc. until Summer 2022, when girls will return 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.

The Eureka! Program is free to all participants, and new applications will open soon to any girl entering eighth grade in the 2022-2023 school year.

For more information on the program, visit girlsincsrq.org/eureka, email Jessie Wingar at jessie@girlsincsrq.org, or call 941-366-6646.

Abby Weingarten is the senior editor in the Office of Communications & Marketing.