The Columbia Girls in STEM initiative came to Miami last week, introducing 23 girls from the Boys & Girls Club of Miami-Date to a variety of STEM instruction. The week-long curriculum started on Monday, 7/16 and took place at the Hardrock Stadium, the home of the initiative’s executive sponsor, the Miami Dolphins.
Now in year three, the Columbia Girls in STEM initiative takes place in four cities: New York City with Goldman Sachs, San Francisco with Microsoft, Washington, D.C. with National Geographic and here in Miami with the Miami Dolphins. Having the program take place in Miami is a testament to the steps the South Florida community has taken to set itself apart as a tech hub and the tech gateway to the Americas. A recent report by CompTIA, a nonprofit tech trade association, found that Florida ranked 4th in the nation with more expected growth to continue over the years. Major organizations like Magic Leap, Citrix, Modernizing Medicine and others have chosen to make the tri-county area of South Florida (Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach) their headquarters. Miami is also home to the successful tech-conference, eMerge Americas, which attracts tech professionals from both the US and Latin American markets.
The Columbia Girls in STEM initiative week-long program features a week of programming that includes: classes in STEM subjects, group projects, college readiness skills, mentor speakers and more. This year’s mentors included women in STEM here in South Florida, including the CEO of PROTECH, Deborah Vazquez.
Vazquez shared with the participants her own career path in the STEM field, present and future opportunities and advice on how to start and build successful technology careers.
“It was an honor to be asked to be a speaker and mentor to such a wonderful group of young women exploring whether a STEM career is the right path for them. I wish back when I started, there would have been programs and resources similar to what Columbia University is providing,” said Deborah Vazquez. “I saw such a spark in many of the participants’ eyes and received so many insightful questions. I’m certain some of our future tech leaders will come from this group.”
Follow the Columbia Girls in STEM initiative online: #CUGirlsinSTEM.