Everyone deserves a chance to follow their dreams no matter their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or economic status.
My JouRney and mission
Our society is plagued with social barriers that hinder the progression of women in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. This is reflected in the proportion of female scientists worldwide, which currently comprises only 30% of all active researchers. Social barriers affect girls as early as primary education and snowball through their high school years and beyond, making STEM careers difficult for women to obtain. Unfortunately, I was not immune to these barriers growing up in a small rural town in Illinois. Countless times my male math and science teachers assured me “[I was] not able to comprehend the material and moving forward in STEM was out of [my] reach. [I was] better off giving up.” Sadly, those were my role models growing up until I came across a National Geographic issue featuring Dr. Jane Goodall’s research with chimpanzees in Africa. She was the role model I needed and deserved as a young girl interested in science. Her story was similar to many girls, themed with fighting for her dreams in a male dominated field with limited education and training. But she showed girls all around the world, including me, that with determination and passion we too could reach our scientific goals and dreams. From that day onward I have continued to break down society’s barriers to reach my goals in wildlife ecology, but not without failure, struggle, and hardships.