Although STEM fields have picked up in popularity (and necessity)’over the last ten to fifteen years, there still is not a lot of women who resemble me or my girls in the field.
Math and science are certainly part of the next big wave education wise for the future. Unfortunately, it seems as if there is very little interest in the subjects from African-American girls.
One of my first jobs was working in a lab at a local university fabricating stints for cancer patients. Although, the label was filled with many minority chemistry and engineering postdoctoral grads, I was the only African American who worked there. As a matter of fact, between the five labs I was the only one worked in one.
While that may not bother most people, it was difficult often for me to relate to the other researchers, because we had nothing in common. Sure we loved our jobs, but that was the extent of it. This made the work environment pretty difficult me, as I often felt alone; unlike my colleagues whom were in the same demographics and were often talking with one another.
Realizing their potential
The biggest roadblock that I have noticed with my teen, is that she often feels as if she can’t do something.
I’ve been that teenage girl who struggled in math, and I 100% understand the difficulties that she has. As a mom, it’s heartbreaking for me to even hear her doubt that she can do this.
One of the ways I have worked to inspire her is to get her actively involved with organizations and activities that actively push for the inclusion of not only women in STEM, but African-American’s as well. My daughter is an avid reader, and finding books with strong female leads, who have an interest in math and science is important.
Be A Danielle
“Turn your ideas into action! Empower your children to use their gifts to make a difference.”
Since she loves to read, I knew that the best way to help inspire her was to find books on the subject. One of the books that my daughter has grown to love (and has read three times in the last two months!) is WordFire Press’ Danielle, Chronicles of a Superheroine. She is able to follow Danielle’s adventures from a young child through adulthood, and see how she grew up to change the world.
Learning by doing is one of Aly’s favorite takeaways from this novel. Danielle wanted to solve a problem regarding water conservation and decided that it was important for her to take matters into her own hands. As my daughter has learned in her engineering class, sometimes in order to solve problems, you have to think outside the box (much like Danielle does in the novel), and at other times, you have lead by example.
There are so many amazing affirmations throughout the book that young women/girls can learn and I love to see my daughter write them down and repeat them to herself daily. This book will help inspire your child to dream big and teach your children to never let fear get in the way of following their dreams.
Want to show your girls that they too can Be A Danielle? You can pre-order your copy of Danielle, Chronicles of a Superheroine! Follow me social @NatashaVBrown and let me know one way you wanted to change the world as a child!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.