Expanding Your Horizons, San Diego is part of a national network that promotes awareness, mentorship, and excitement among young women in grades 6-10 about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). By coordinating with working STEM professionals, we provide hands-on workshop opportunities through an annual conference and satellite events. Young women have the opportunity to meet and interact with positive women role models who are active in math and science-related careers. Furthermore, they are assigned female college age mentors with whom they can discuss educational steps that are available to further their interest in STEM subjects.
Many of the young women who participate in our conference are potentially first generation college participants or come from schools with limited opportunities for hands-on experiences in math and science. The Expanding Your Horizons Conference may be their first visit to a university campus, first experience in a fully equipped laboratory, or first time exploring a previously unknown STEM career.
Participants often return to Expanding Your Horizons multiple years and subsequently volunteer as mentors, compounding our program’s impact. Every year, 60% of conference participants receive fee waivers and free transportation so that we can make this experience possible for any girl. We are faced with a national deficit of STEM professionals, and because women only make up ¼ of the STEM industry, they are an untapped resource for meeting this challenge. Our objective is to mentor and engage an additional 5,000 girls by 2020 to help guide them towards a future STEM career.