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04/10/2013 11:04 am ET Updated Oct 01, 2013

Mentor Matching: The HuffPost Girls In STEM Program

Editor's Note: This post is part of a series produced by HuffPost's Girls In STEM Mentorship Program. Join the community as we discuss issues affecting women in science, technology, engineering and math.

Last year, after a team discussion where we lamented the amount of tangible resources available to women in our careers, we decided to put out the call to see how many other women felt the same way that we did.

Immediately we received over a thousand replies from female students looking for mentorship in the STEM fields. Directly following that, we received over 500 emails from established and amazing women who wanted to nurture these students in their career efforts. Needless to say, we were astounded by the feedback and couldn't wait to launch an effort to bring students and mentors together.

We initially paired up a group of 5 professionals and 5 students in specific fields and watched as they explored their target topics, but also mentorship and partnership from a wider perspective. They taught us a lot about how women in STEM can work together.

Since then we've heard from dozens of amazing organizations and individuals who are working their hardest to bridge the gap between the education of STEM loving girls and successful careers. We have been overwhelmed by the response and honored to continue the much-needed discussion around what it takes to enter these fields, how our education system is enabling or stifling enthusiasts and how to create a larger word-of-mouth conversation around regional programs that provide hands-on assistance every day.

Today we're very excited to announce that we'll be pairing up 50 more professionals and students this week. We've painstakingly matched pairs based on field, extracurricular interests, geographical preference and availability. While we work with these pairs, we will continue to highlight and discuss the issues that plague women in science, math, engineering, technology and other associated fields and make our dialogue as loud as possible until these issues are resolved for following generations.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be following these pairs in conversations around their chosen fields: Biology, health and medicine, veterinary sciences, computer science and programming, psychology, environmental science and sustainability, mathematics, chemistry, bioengineering, statistics, civil engineering, neuroscience and physics.

Throughout this discovery period, we want to hear from you. What have been your biggest hurdles in following your career path? What do you wish you had known before jumping in? What tangible resource do you wish had been made available to you in your early stages? What is the most surprising thing about your career, and why would or wouldn't you mentor a young female in the same field? Leave your comments below and sign up for our weekly update newsletter (by emailing stem@huffingtonpost.com) where we'll focus on one specific question a week and share information on a resource or program we think you'll want to know about.

Thank you for continuing to support our experiment and if you have thoughts or want to contribute at any time, email us at STEM@huffingtonpost.com.

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