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Can Mentorships Get More Girls Into STEM Subjects?

C4K combines mentoring and technology to prepare youth for brighter futures. C4K equips Charlottesville youth with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills that prepare them to be competitive for college and career opportunities. since inception, on average, 50% of the youth we serve have been female.

“Research shows that life experience and human relationships give us a sense of what’s possible,” says David Shapiro, the CEO of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, “and help us navigate to those possibilities.” Because girls “don’t know what they don’t know,” so to speak, mentorships can open them up to new opportunities they may not have had access to.

By leading through example and sending early signals that success is possible. STEM mentors can help young girls understand that—even if they’re not being encouraged by their parents, friends or teachers to explore engineering and science—someone who is like them is already out there doing it successfully.

“When you can give mentees a vision or example of what they want to be in engaging and captivating terms,” Shapiro explains, “it creates a pretty powerful opportunity to get more girls interested in STEM.”

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