When is a STEM program not just a STEM program? When it covers more than just the basics to include skills like emotional and financial management, how to network and build relationships while supporting STEM careers across the board.
The STEM Sista program is a professional development program for young women in high school. It is designed to instil fundamental success principles, commitment and resiliency in girls, effectively setting them up for a life of tremendous accomplishment.
“When I was in my thirties, I was fortunate to be offered amazing professional development,” CEO and STEM Sista founder Teresa Janowski explained to ADM. “As an engineer, I took on board what they taught me literally and applied it to my life. I often wondered what impact it would have to teach young women in their teenage years the same life skills and tools. In my role I was fortunate enough to have the ability to create such a program and ‘pay it forward’.
“In five years, we have delivered numerous programs with hundreds of girls completing the program and continuing with STEM careers. Many of them have become big STEM Sistas and return to teach.”
Students attend from a variety of schools (public, private, catholic and independent) mainly from years 9 to 11 in SA. The program is held over four days in a city location from 9 am to 4 pm.
“Each year we work with numerous industry partners,” Janowski outlined. “This year we have Defence SA as one of our key sponsors. Richard and his team are amazing hosts and make the girls feel very welcome. This is so important to girls who are considering their study and future career. The girls gain an understanding of what the defence industry is and learn from guest speakers about the variety of roles and opportunities.”
STEM Sista grants its students opportunities to walk away with:
- Valuable STEM industry connections and potential career prospects.
- Exposure to and guidance from an array of STEM industry guest speakers.
- Comprehensive insights into the lives of STEM professionals & their various organizations.
- A deep understanding of how to conduct oneself in professional settings such as interviews and workplace environments to achieve optimal results.
- Extensive, result-driven strategies for setting and attaining ambitious goals, managing finances, negotiating effectively, building unwavering resilience & much more.
- Guidance on which STEM pathway is right for them and how to follow that pathway.
- Access to a mastermind of like-minded bright young women with similar ambitions and goals (who usually end up becoming friends for life).
Janowski also heads up STEM Fast Track, with STEM-oriented networking events and professional development courses for young people in school and university who wish to increase their chances of starting a successful career in STEM driven industries.
“Our primary goal is to empower the emerging generation with knowledge and development to become prepared to take on a STEM-driven future with conviction,” Janowski said.
Teresa will be presenting at ADM's STEM in Defence summit in Canberra next week along with an insightful program of presenters.