Updated: May 16
GiSTEM, Inc. was brought to fruition on January 3, 2019. Over the past two years, we have grown, evolved, and made our mark in the STEM community. In November 2018, our founder was moved to start a nonprofit after hearing a speaker discuss the importance of making an impact. Instantly, she heard the name of the organization "Girls impacting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. After pitching her idea to her future board members, they agreed to the terms of the organization and the documentation for becoming an organization began. In January 2019, GiSTEM was recognized as a business by the State Corporation Commission (SCC). In February 2019, GiSTEM was recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Board of Directors (left to right): Deja Shabazz, Saqueya Moore, LaToya Mayfield, Shatara Weaver, Ann Allen and Elizabeth Kissell (not pictured)
We participated in our first event (Summer Night Lights - RVA) in June 2019. Summer Night Lights - RVA is a violence prevention tool connecting the local organizations with local housing communities each summer to diminish violent crimes and provide a safe, trauma-informed alternative to idleness and violence. In August 2019, we had our first interview with On the Mic with Mike to begin spreading the word about the organization. We were able to hold our first fundraiser (Wine down with GiSTEM) in October 2019 to give us the needed momentum to conquer the goals we set for 2020.
Though all the goals were not achieved in 2020 due to the global pandemic, we were able to still have a successful year. We utilized a virtual platform and social media to engage throughout the year with various projects and events. The highlight event for 2020 was our GiSTEMChats Series: College Prep in 2020. The series was meant for young girls transitioning from high school to college to give tips on navigating college during the pandemic. We shared our experiences from being in college and had other young women that were still in college give insight on how to manage the new journey and handle tough conversations.
Looking back on the past two years, we are excited to see what we will accomplish in 2021. From our planned events to our Inaugural GiSTEM Week, we cannot wait to share our success on our 3rd birthday. GiSTEM Week is a week-long program that will focus on one STEM subject per day. Each subject-focused day will have professionals from the field discussing their STEM career journey - including their roles at their respective companies, any challenges and advice to help the participants in their own journey. Participants will be exposed to hands-on activities and real-world problems to teach foundational STEM skills. The skills will involve group projects that allow the participants to create and present their innovative solution to their guardians, GiSTEM board members and sponsors at the end of the week. Our goal is to accept girls (rising 7th-12th graders) into the program. To apply, click this link: GiSTEM Week application.
In honor of our birthday month, all GiSTEM Gear is on sale for the remainder of the month. This is our special gift to you! Head over to our shop and support us in changing the lives of girls in our community. As always, we appreciate your support!