Fortified by grant funding, the Cincinnati Woman's Club, an inspired and valued CPS partner, has launched Stempower, a three-year preparatory program, designed to empower young women to pursue their STEM interests in college and career. A $25,000 grant award from the Charles H. Dater Foundation has fueled program planning.
Twenty 9th-grade girls, attending Title 1 schools were selected by their CPS teachers to participate. This special group of girls represents a larger academic cohort of students who fall into in an unfortunate and frustrating category. They perform well by state proficiency standards, yet are at risk of falling well below national expectations for emerging STEM professionals. Defining factors for those who succeed in STEM include elevated exposure to STEM content, completion of rigorous coursework, and connection with professional STEM communities. National workforce demographics, including gender, race and socio economic status, show STEM career fields are poorly diversified. Stempower seeks to make a difference.
The Dater Foundation has supported Greater Cincinnati youth since 1985, prioritizing arts/culture, education, healthcare, social services and other community needs. Established in honor of Charles H. Dater (1912-1993) and his ancestors, the Foundation notes that his "hard work and business acumen over four generations provided them with the opportunity to share their success with their community."
Cincinnati Woman's Club President, Ellen Zemke, is behind this wholehearted program and the club's extensive fundraising efforts to make it all possible. With the mission to enrich lives through philanthropic action and educational opportunities, service projects are a long-established tradition within CWC. Ellen, a CPS Walnut Hills High School alumna, put her STEM talents to work within several leading organizations during her career, including Deloitte & Touche and PNC Bank. As one of a very few women holding a bachelor's degree in mathematics, Ellen personally understands the need to build a stronger community of support around girls who aspire to STEM careers.