iversity in STE A M www.diversityinsteam.com
iversity in the STEM fields is important. It not only provides a wider range of opinion, idea and thought in the ields that most pertain to our everyday lives and well-being, but can help boost the economy through the production and engagement of inclusive and well-thought-out technology. While diversity in STEM has seen growth from previous generations, the overall diversity of the STEM fields is still less than ideal. According to a 2021 study done by the Pew Research Center, about 67 percent of all STEM workers identified as white, with only 33 percent making up the Black, Hispanic, Asian, and other minority communities. These numbers were particularly low for the
PHOTO CREDIT: IOSCHOLARSHIPS
Meet the Latina Diversifying the Future of STEM
By Natalie Rodgers
Hispanic community, who despite making up 17 percent of the total workforce in the United States, only represent eight percent of those working in the STEM field. Much of the time, diversity in STEM careers isnt due to a lack of interest, but to a scarcity of proper education, resources and funding opportunities that are needed to pursue these careers. Thats why when Mara Trochimezuk, who has worked in public education campaigns for big-name organizations and who paid for her entire college education through scholarships and grants, discovered how much scholarship money goes undiscovered and unspent. She decided she wanted to make these resources available to the communities that need it most. In March 2021, Trochimezuk decided to fund IOScholarships, a free platform for high school and college students to gain access to the tools and resources they need to complete their STEM education with as little debt as possible. The organization is currently working to disperse over $30 million in scholarships to diverse communities from underserved and low-income areas who are interested in working in the STEM field. I always had a vision that I wanted to create a platform that would be a community, Trochimezuk told NBC News, It's a first of its kind because we are focusing on underrepresented and underserved students: African American, Latinos, Asian American, Native American, and also we have scholarships for DACA students. Through their partnership with the National Scholarships Provider Association, IOScholarships has helped nearly 11,000 students gain access to educational funding that would have otherwise gone to waste. Besides providing ample opportunity for students to discover and apply for scholarships, IOScholarships additionally provides internship information, financial education, work opportunities and other resources in their goal to diversify the STEM ield while helping students to graduate debt free. We opened opportunities for students with scholarships that now are going to Stanford or MIT, Trochimezuk said of the last year of operations in a discussion with NBC News, these are brilliant, diverse students, they're Latino, Black students. And its very important that companies pay attention to this workforce because these are our innovators for the future. To learn more about IOScholarships and the opportunities available to potential and current STEM students, visit their website at ioscholarships.com.
Source: Pew Research Center, NBC News, IOScholarships
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