For Immediate Release – January 15, 2015
Office of the Governor
Contact: Rachel Thomas
Governor McAuliffe and Virginia Council on Women Announce the 4th Annual STEM Essay Contest
RICHMOND – Today Governor McAuliffe and the Virginia Council on Women announced the 4th annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Essay Contest for high school junior and senior girls.
The Council will award one $5,000 scholarship to a female junior or senior who will be pursuing a STEM career at an institution of higher education. Other scholarships may be awarded at the discretion of the Council.
The STEM Essay Contest was launched in 2012 with 170 young ladies from across the Commonwealth submitting essays focusing on the student’s vision for a future STEM education or career. The Council raised $10,000 and made three scholarship awards.
Last year, the Council received nearly 300 essay submissions and thanks to the generosity of sponsors, was able to award five scholarships, with the highest award winner receiving a $10,000 scholarship.
Speaking about the contest, Governor Terry McAuliffe stated, “Building a new Virginia economy depends on our ability to compete in growing and innovative industries like science, technology, math, and engineering. I am pleased that the Virginia Council on Women and the Science Museum of Virginia are committed to encouraging more Virginia women to pursue careers in these industries, where they can contribute to our economic growth and build a foundation where the Commonwealth can compete on a global stage."
Ms. Tracy Key, Chair of the Council, commented, “The Virginia Council on Women is proud to support young women who are breaking barriers in new and growing industries here in the Commonwealth and across the nation. This contest is yet another tool to build a quality workforce for the future and create greater opportunities for young women in every corner of this state."
To be eligible, one must be a female who resides in Virginia, be enrolled as a junior or senior in high school and hold at least a 2.5 GPA. Applications and guidelines are available online at: http://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/about/council-on-women/. Entries must be submitted by February 25, 2015. Essays will be judged by a panel of Council members and women who hold a degree in or work in STEM fields.
Winners will be notified by March 24, 2015. The scholarship award(s) will be presented at a reception on Capitol Square in Richmond on April 15, 2015.
The purpose of the Virginia Council on Women is to help women reach their potential and maximize their contributions to society and the Commonwealth as wage earners and citizens. The Council has initiated several projects to meet this goal. One is the annual STEM essay contest for young women in high school. For more information on the Council or on available sponsorship opportunities, please visit: http://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/about/council-on-women/.