My name is Jasmine Yu and this summer I was a counselor at Saturday Academy’s Geek Chic camp, an all-girls computer programming camp hosted at St. Mary’s Academy high school. As a rising St. Mary’s senior, this experience provided me with a unique opportunity to combine my love for STEM with my background as a student at an all-girls high school.
Growing up, I looked up to a predominantly male cast of important figures in STEM, whether it was the likes of Albert Einstein or Thomas Edison. Even now a quick internet search of “famous scientists” yields only four women out of the fifty-one top results. It wasn’t until high school that I felt like I was being exposed to scientists, mathematicians, and engineers whom I could see myself represented in, a change that affirmed my STEM aspirations and encouraged me to continue pursuing a career in a historically male-skewed field.
Because of this, I deeply value the time I spent at Geek Chic camp. Each and every teacher was passionate about the subjects they were teaching and served as an incredible group of female role models for the students enrolled in Geek Chic. By the second day of camp, I was met with a chorus of “Awww”s and “Just one more minute!”s whenever it came time for the students to leave their projects for a break or lunch. At the end of the week, it was incredible to see how the girls had gained so much new knowledge and confidence over a short period of time, not only from their teachers but also from each other. As a young woman in STEM and a student of St. Mary’s Academy, I can truly say that Saturday Academy’s Geek Chic camp is a one-of-a-kind learning environment that fosters a new generation of empowered women in tech.