Women account for only 32% of the degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Female, first-generation students are at an additional disadvantage, even though they are just as likely to be interested in STEM as their non-first-generation counterparts, but less likely to remain in the field or finish their degree.
Debbie and I had a normal childhood, except that, Debbie was the family's ears and voice. Since the age of four, Debbie interpreted for our parents, translating between spoken English and sign language. Due to the lack of telephone access for the deaf, Debbie often relayed conversations between hearing people and our parents on the telephone before she was old enough to understand what they were saying.
Looking for talent to drive a new engineering design from prototype to product? She is a 5th grader in Oakland. Looking for expertise on clean tech to advise your venture capital firm? She is a junior in high school in Washington, DC. You may not have imagined these individuals as the solution to your workforce needs, but we do.