Moving forward by leaps and bounds….
Lamar Community College Hosts Opportunities for Area Youth
Girls in the Middle
Deanna Siemsen, Resource Counselor
The level of conversation will raise a few octaves on March 2 as 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls from around the service area descend upon the Lamar Community College campus. They will be attending the fifth annual Girls in the Middle Conference from 9a-2p. Their day will be filled with educational activities pertaining to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Five years ago, local women in the community felt the need to bring a conference of this magnitude to the Lamar area. Thanks to the incredible fortitude of Becky Navarrette and Amy Rosengrants- Smith, the Girls in the Middle (GITM) program has grown and prospered. Throughout these past five years, professional women in the community and surrounding areas have volunteered their time and talents to GITM. Presenters and key-note speakers have traveled across states to inspire and educate these young ladies from McClave to the Kansas State line and Cheyenne Wells to the Oklahoma State line.
The goal of the conference is to encourage middle school girls to continue studying STEM courses through high school and into college. The conference provides those attending with the opportunity to meet professional women who are working or have worked in various STEM professions. They will learn about possible careers that are not traditionally female choices, and how to begin making plans for high school and college. For many of these young ladies, this is their first opportunity to establish relationships with professional role models from our community.
With the challenge of continually improving the conference, several changes have been made to peak the interests of this age group. The girls will begin the conference by hearing from a motivational keynote speaker along with group interactions with Lamar Community College women students. Next, the attendees will enjoy two, forty-five minute break-out sessions that include presentations and hands-on activities. Lunch will then be provided, followed by the participants taking part in a large group activity which will lead into the wrap-up session. Those sponsoring the girls are encouraged to take part in all of the events to stimulate conversation and interactions relating to STEM careers in the students’ futures.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Dive into your Future”. Each participant will receive a t-shirt with the student designed logo. The conference will cost $5.00 per participant, lunch will be provided.
Lamar native, Renee Ziegler will highlight the event as the Keynote motivational speaker. Renee has a wealth of knowledge and experience from her commission in the U.S. Navy as an Intelligence Officer. During her 9 years with the Navy, she traveled to 10 different countries, was deployed on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, attended survival school, worked at a Joint Intelligence Center in Hawaii, and became an instructor at the Intelligence School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Renee has worked with ship captains, aviators, SEALS, and other veterans throughout her career.
Local middle school administrators and counselors have been receiving information on this upcoming event and may be making arrangements to bring students. Please contact your area school if you have a middle school student interested in this exciting opportunity. Should you have any questions or wish to volunteer for this wonderful program contact Deanna Siemsen at 719.336.1527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.