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Berkeley College Partners With Girls Prep to Support Women in STEM

20150303

 

Berkeley College tour

 

Amber wants to be a veterinarian. The 9-year-old lights up when she sees a microscope and talks excitedly about her four pets.

But young girls today face a looming STEM gender gap. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Amber’s school, Girls Prep Lower East Side, is doing something to support her dream. In March, Girls Prep on the Lower East Side and in the Bronx will host the Ultimate Pi Day 5K, a fundraiser to support the school’s STEM programs and encourage its students to pursue these areas of study.

Berkeley College joined Girls Prep in its mission on February 20, when it invited the elementary and middle school students for a college tour and training session with its New York Cross-Country team.

“When I was younger, I could run a 100-yard dash, but these girls are planning to run three miles,” said Adam Rosen, Psy.D., Berkeley College Cross-Country Coach, New York. “Community involvement is very important for Berkeley College as well as for our Cross-Country team, so when we heard about the Pi Day race, we knew right away that we wanted to get involved.”

The Berkeley College team also gave the girls a lesson in motivation, showing a video about Diana Nyad, the 64-year-old athlete who swam from Cuba to Florida in 2013.

“Whether it’s running or doing well in school, you need to be determined to be successful,” Dr. Rosen told the girls.

Saranjeet Bhamra, a Berkeley College runner, was excited to share her story with the students.

“I felt running changed my life,” said Ms. Bhamra, who was recently named to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National All-Academic team for both her academic and athletic achievements. “It takes hard work, but if you have a goal, then you have a clear path to your future.”

Louisa Frick, a Development Associate with Girls Prep, said she was thankful for the opportunity to visit Berkeley because it helped to demystify the college experience for the young students.

“From an early age, we focus on college readiness,” Ms. Frick said. “But by coming to a college campus and meeting the people here, it shows our students this is something they can do. They can picture themselves here.”

Dallas Reed, Ph.D., Berkeley College Vice President, Student Development and Campus Life, agreed. “Providing young, vibrant minds with the opportunity to experience a college setting plants seeds of endless possibilities,” she said.

Amber, a third-grade student at Girls Prep Lower East Side, stretches with the Berkeley College New York Cross-Country team

Amber, a third-grade student at Girls Prep Lower East Side, stretches with the Berkeley College New York Cross-Country team in preparation for the Ultimate Pi Day 5K to support women in STEM.

"By coming to a college campus and meeting the people here, it shows our students this is something they can do. They can picture themselves here."

– Louisa Frick
Development Associate
Girls Prep

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