Foxcroft School students celebrated International Women’s Day Tuesday with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and a stunning group of STEM leaders, who are committed to growing the number of girls and women studying and working in the critical science, technology, engineering and math fields.
Speaking before several hundred people in Richmond’s historic Patrick Henry Building, Governor McAuliffe launched the Million Women Mentors initiative in Virginia (MWM-VA) and presented a proclamation supporting girls and women in STEM.
“When we are advancing women we are advancing the Commonwealth,” said the Governor. “I want to make sure that women are leading the way in STEM, so we are ‘all in’ with the Million Women Mentors.”
He is first governor to serve as Honorary Chair of a state chapter of Million Women Mentors, a nation-wide initiative to support girls and women in STEM by providing one million STEM mentors.
Dr. Carole Inge, one of MWM-VA Co-Chairs and founder of the International Association for STEM Leaders, invited Foxcroft Science Department Chair Maria Evans, Ph.D., to bring students to the event because she had read about the School’s outstanding STEM program and special initiatives, such as its girls-only interscholastic STEM competition and Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) curriculum. Foxcroft’s contingent consisted of 13 girls who are passionate about STEM. (Only three other high schools were represented and none by more than three girls.)
“It was a wonderful opportunity for the girls,” said Dr. Evans, an aerospace engineer who gave up launching rockets and designing constellation orbits to teach at Foxcroft. “They got to meet the Governor and hear about the many diverse opportunities in STEM fields from some impressive speakers. They also made some wonderful connections with people and companies and got excited about the possibilities.”
Of particular interest to the students were programs supported by Cisco Systems and Lockheed Martin. They also enjoyed hearing from such powerful women as Michelle Lee, the first woman to be Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice A. Jones; and MWM-VA Co-Chair Jennifer Bisceglie, who is CEO of Interos Solutions and Global Chair of WIPP (Women Impacting Public Policy.
“I’m counting on you,” Governor McAuliffe told the students. These Foxcroft girls seem anxious to rise to the challenge!
Founded in 1914, Foxcroft is a college-preparatory boarding and day school for girls in grades 9-12. It offers 75+ courses, including 17 APs, and fields athletic teams in nine sports, including a nationally-known riding program and a state champion lacrosse team. The 2015-16 student body is comprised of 166 girls from 18 states, the District of Columbia, and 14 countries. About one-third of the students receive financial assistance, 25 percent are international students and 16 percent students of color. For more information, call 540.687.4340.