Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins Virtually Tours the AT&T & STSI All Girls STEAM Camp the Only Virtual STEAM Program for Black and Girls of Color in the Region to Help Close the Tech Gender and Diversity Gaps
AT&T & STSI All Girls STEAM Camp provided 20 local Black and girls of color a free two-week virtual tech camp
YONKERS, NY – July 17, 2020 – New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins virtually visited the AT&T & STSI All Girls STEAM Camp today to address the 20 participants on the importance of girls engaging in a science, technology, engineering and math (STEAM) educational and career paths. The Majority Leader commended the girls for their participation virtually during the summer and had students and teachers demonstrate what the young women have learned during the experience.
AT&T and Sister to Sister International (STSI) partnered to offer AT&T & STSI All Girls STEAM Camp to encourage more young Black and girls of color to enter the field of technology, an industry that is historically male-dominant. The free virtual program has been made possible by a $25,000 contribution from AT&T. This year’s program was moved to a virtual format out concern for COVID-19. The girls participated online from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day with an hour break for lunch.
The young women participants learned a myriad of STEAM skills and how technology can be used for social good. The girls also learned about computer app development, digital storytelling, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, coding, public speaking, financial literacy and received exposure to STEAM careers from tech professionals. The program also provided a forum for the girls to discuss racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter Movement with local elected officials and community stake holders.
A highlight of the program was a virtual field trip to the Newlab at the Navy Yard in Brooklyn arranged by AT&T. The NewLab and its member companies use advanced technology to transform infrastructure and solve problems for a sustainable world. The STSI students toured the Newlab through drone technology, participated in a design challenge and met several diverse members of the organization to talk about their backgrounds and career paths.
“We all know it’s not easy to break into the Tech field, especially for women of color. But these young women can start to change that. They have worked hard and completed a demanding STEAM camp and now have the education, determination and vision to focus on STEAM as a career goal. I urge them to stick with it. They can make a difference. I also want to commend STSI and AT&T for giving these students a wonderful opportunity for the second year. I know it has opened the eyes of many girls who may have never thought about Technology as a career,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
Sister to Sister International, Inc. (STSI) was established in 1994 and advocates for the advancement of women and families of African descent, with special focus and strong branding in the areas of education, health & wellness and global affairs. Their programs and activities for youth have always promoted academic enrichment, mentoring, life-skills and global awareness. STSI’s STEAM Programs have nurtured over 1,000 Westchester Black and girls of color, since its inception in 2010, developing a pipeline of under-represented girls, beginning in middle and high school, to college and careers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor, much of the growth in the domestic and global economy will come from STEM-related jobs – a highly lucrative and competitive field. It is estimated by 2025 there will be 3.5 million unfilled STEM jobs in America, underscoring the importance of providing the youth the tools and skills necessary to compete in this innovation economy. The urgency for more STEAM educated employees is accentuated by the low percentage of females who are currently employed at major technology firms (29 percent) and women pursuing bachelors’ degrees for computer science, just 18 percent. These alarming statistics emphasize the importance of providing programs like the AT&T & STSI All Girls STEAM Camp.
“AT&T is proud to collaborate with Sister to Sister International again this year to provide this innovative experience for local girls, as it further enhances our commitment to providing resources for STEAM-related educational programming throughoutnd builds upon our vigorous efforts to bridge the gender and diversity gaps in the technology industry,” said Amy Kramer, president, New York, AT&T. “I am so impressed by these remarkable girls and their educational determination, they all have great futures ahead of them. It was an honor to have Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins provide inspirational remarks and talk with the girls about the importance of STEAM.”
Cheryl Brannan, founder, Sister to Sister International said, “We appreciate our continued partnership with AT&T and their commitment to erasing the STEAM gap for Black and girls of color. They have been a role model in the business community in terms of giving-back and investing in youth. Our girls are the next generation of professionals and our biggest asset!”
AT&T’s support for this program is part of the company’s legacy of supporting educational programs focused on STEAM disciplines in New York through AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature $500 million philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, programing, employee volunteerism and mentoring. Aspire is one of the nation’s largest corporate commitments focused on school success and workforce readiness by creating new learning environments and educational delivery systems to help students succeed and prepare them to take on 21st century careers.
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. The company’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $500 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.
Benjamin Roberts, AT&T, [email protected]
Cheryl Brannan, STSI, [email protected]