Last month the Hartford Courant ran an inspiring article about the joint partnership between Career In STEM, Soroptomist International of Willimantic, and Windham High School. Run entirely by female volunteer professionals, the Dream It Be It program seeks to “improve the lives of women and girls” through weekly career exploration seminars with local teens in Willimantic.
DREAM IT*BE IT is a six-week career guidance and exploration program offered through Sorpotimist International organizations around the world. Locally, the Dream It Be It program is organized by Joan Merritt of Soroptimist International of Willimantic with help from Ashley Pereira, CEO of Career In STEM. The program runs Wednesday mornings at the Windham High School Career Center, and offers interactive workshops to help girls improve their social and economic situations by setting career goals, exploring career options, dealing with obstacles, and encouraging them to never waver from achieving their dreams.
“To me it has always been really important to do what you can, where you can,” says Career In STEM CEO Ashley Pereira. “I graduated from Windham High in 2006, so it has been really cool to return to my alma matter and help girls who are going through the exact same experiences as I did. I created Career In STEM based on the things I wish I had as a kid, so it is truly gratifying to see the smiles and engagement of teens right here in my town, knowing I am making a difference” Ashley notes.
In addition to the programs, the article also mentions that Soroptimist International gives out an annual award – the “Live Your Dream” award, which is given to a woman who not only acts as head of her home, but is also working toward a degree or certification. The DREAM IT*BE IT program has reached many girls and women both in high school and college, and their annual conference held at Eastern Connecticut State University now serves 150 girls from area high schools. This year’s conference will be held in March – stay tuned for details!
Click here to read the full Hartford Courant article.