Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Though GrantEd’s mission is to obviate the need for teachers to spend out of pocket to provide for their students, we have the secondary goal of leveraging our community of teachers and donors to build out a space that teachers can reliably turn to for information and resources. To that end, we started off the new year with an incredible opportunity for DC schools, brought to us by Mastercard.
In February 2020, Mastercard hosted its 5th annual Girls4Tech here DC, an event aimed at inspiring interest in STEM studies among young girls ages 8-12. Through this event, Mastercard employees serve as educators and mentors, highlighting the varied skills needed to work in technology and encouraging girls to think about a future in the hard sciences. In the last 5 years, Mastercard has reached more than 400,000 girls in 25 countries. Their goal is to reach 1,000,000 by 2025.
Statistics show that women, and especially women of color, are woefully underrepresented in STEM education and careers. This imbalance starts as early as elementary school–where traditionally girls have not been encouraged to excel in math and sciences. Without solid foundations laid early, few women enter higher education in these majors. Out of all females receiving science and engineering degrees, only 9% of black women received a Bachelor’s degree, 10% received a Master’s degree, and 5% received a PhD. The same can be observed in the job market where only 12% of STEM professionals are women of color.
In preparation for Girls4Tech, Mastercard approached GrantEd to facilitate connections with STEM teachers in DC public schools. They chose to reach out to Granted partner Whittier Education Campus, a STEM-focused DC public school, with a goal to have one of the best STEM programs in the city. With Mr. Kerel Thompson at the helm of their STEM programming, the school is always looking for exciting opportunities to expose their students to STEM and what those skills look like in the real world. Mr. Thompson and 35 Whittier girls attended Girls4Tech, and have quite the photo gallery to show for it.
At GrantED Foundation, we know the battles teachers are fighting every day and we are dedicated to helping combat historical inequity. We are proud to help create partnerships between schools and businesses to address some of our most pressing educational issues. The opportunity to partner with Mastercard for Girls4Tech was a homerun!