Girls Inc. Of Southeast Wisconsin Celebrates Successful 10th Annual Girls Empowered By Math & Science (GEMS) Conference

Published: January 12, 2023

GEMS 2023 MAGirls Inc. of Southeast Wisconsin is proud to announce a successful 10th Annual Girls Empowered by Math & Science (GEMS) Conference, held on Thursday, January 12, 2023 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

The conference, sponsored by SC Johnson, American Association of University Women-Racine Branch, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Racine Unified School District, Gateway Technical College, Inclusity, United Way of Racine County, SAFE Haven of Racine, Community State Bank, Educators Credit Union, Eaton Corporation, We Energies and Summit Credit Union, featured 450 middle school girls from the Racine Unified School District. Students participated in campus tours, interacted with a college student panel, and engaged in three STEM workshops.

"The GEMS Conference is a truly inspiring event that gives middle school girls the chance to dream big and explore their passions in science, technology, engineering, and math.” said Jeanette Brown, CEO of Girls Inc. of Southeast Wisconsin. “We are particularly proud to provide this opportunity to middle school girls, who are at a crucial stage in their development and decision-making process. Through interactive workshops, campus tours, and a college student panel, these girls have the opportunity to learn about the many exciting career paths available to them in STEM fields and meet role models and mentors who can help guide and encourage them. We are grateful to our sponsors and partners for their support in making this 10th year a success and empowering these girls to believe in themselves, pursue their dreams, and make a positive impact in the world."

The conference featured keynote speaker, Miss America 2023 Grace Stanke, as well as interactive and engaging hands on workshops geared towards 7th and 8th grade girls. Attendees had the chance to hear from women experts in the STEM field and learn about the exciting career opportunities available to them.

“There aren’t many female role models in the STEM industry,” said Miss America 2023 Grace Stanke. “It is so important for me to attend as Miss America and speak to these young women so they have someone to relate to as they continue their education. These girls at the GEMS conference will go on to change the world — it might be as lead tech on a project, or CEO of a startup company, or a doctor curing cancer, but they are destined to do great things and make the world a better place!”

"We are thrilled to have hosted another successful GEMS Conference and provide 450 middle school girls with the opportunity to learn about and explore their passions in STEM," said Robin Smerchek, GEMS Conference Chair. "Middle school is a crucial time for girls to discover their interests and develop the confidence to pursue their goals. The GEMS Conference is an invaluable resource for helping girls see the endless possibilities available to them in STEM fields."

"We are thrilled to have partnered with Girls Inc. of Southeast Wisconsin and the GEMS Conference for the 10th year in a row and to have provided a platform for 450 middle school girls to explore and learn about STEM fields.” said Debbie Ford, Chancellor of University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “The success of this year's conference is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the planning committee and partners, and we are grateful to have been able to provide such a valuable and empowering experience for these girls. At UW-Parkside, we are committed to increasing diversity and representation in STEM fields, and events like the GEMS Conference are crucial in inspiring the next generation of girls to pursue their passions in these fields. We are excited to have welcomed these girls to our campus and to have provided them with the opportunity to interact with college students and experts in STEM, who can help guide and encourage them as they make important decisions about their education and career paths. We look forward to continuing this partnership and making a positive impact in the lives of these girls and in the STEM field."

Racine Unified School District (RUSD) Superintendent Dr. Eric Gallien said, "At the Racine Unified School District, we believe in the power of education to transform lives and empower students to reach their full potential. The GEMS Conference is truly an inspiring and empowering example of this. The opportunity for more than 450 of our middle school girls to learn about and explore the exciting career opportunities available to them in STEM fields is invaluable and we are grateful to Girls Inc. of Southeast Wisconsin and our partners for bringing this experience to our students."

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