Letter to the President
Dear Mr. President,
I am a freshman working towards a degree in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois. As a woman in engineering, I have faced criticism, derogatory comments, and negative stereotypes from my male peers and teachers. During one occasion, a classmate told me that my opinion meant nothing and that I belonged in a kitchen. At first, these comments tore me apart and dragged me down. I would spend hours crying in the bathroom at school asking myself why I even attempted to do something that apparently, I was not meant to do. Unfortunately, Mr. President, this occurs to a majority of girls pursuing STEM fields across the United States. Most are dragged down and belittled to the point where they cannot go on, and resort to something “easier”. I am happy to say that upon coming to college, my outlook has changed. I have realized that I am pursuing engineering for a reason. I want to make the world a better place. I am fueled to push forward because I know I must. I must encourage young girls to become involved in STEM because as a country, we need women in STEM. As the president of the United States, you should support this issue because increasing the amount of women in STEM will increase the amount of solutions to the problems we face in our country today. We must support and encourage women in engineering to the fullest because without them, we are only half as productive of a country.
Currently, I am striving towards gender equality by introducing young girls to 3-D printing in a start-up (501c3) nonprofit organization, MakerGirl. In MakerGirl, we inspire girls to live and dream as unstoppable forces that say yes to the challenges of the future. We encourage them by teaching them about innovative companies, women leaders, and new technology. In our sessions, girls get to implement their creativity through a hands-on 3-D printing design process. This summer, in order to reach girls in rural areas without access to STEM education, we are taking our sessions mobile! We have reached over 60% of our Kickstarter goal but need all of the support we can get in order for our dream to become a reality.
As the President of the United States, I know you are probably extremely busy with issues deemed more imperative. But I am urging you to support our efforts. Currently STEM fields are comprised of only 24% women. Supporting women in STEM is one of the most promising investments you can make as President.