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GSHCC Receives $100,000 Grant from Verizon

Girl Scouts Heart of Central California has received a $100,000 grant from Verizon to provide STEM education to 1,200 girls in under-resourced communities. The grant is part of Verizon’s commitment to increase digital inclusion nationwide by removing barriers to economic prosperity and ensuring that the benefits of technology are accessible to all.

Dr. Linda E. Farley, CEO of Girls Scouts Heart of Central California, said, “This grant, along with our Mobile STEM Center + MakerSpace which debuted in June 2019, allows us to serve as a hub for girl innovation, exploration, and discovery. We are proud and excited to make this amazing and important STEM experience available to girls throughout our region, and particularly those girls who are under-resourced.”

GSHCC’s Mobile STEM Center + MakerSpace is a 30-foot custom-built RV featuring laptop computers, robotics kits, and other technology that allows girls throughout the region to explore STEM topics. 

Through this grant, GSHCC will provide STEM education to 1,200 under-resourced girls in Sacramento, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, and Merced counties. Through partnerships with after-school providers and 55 Title I schools, girls will participate in fun, hands-on activities while learning about coding, robotics, virtual reality, renewable energy, engineering, space science, and other STEM subjects. GSHCC will also bring STEM education to 100 girls in migrant camp troops. 

“At Verizon, we’re on a mission to move the world forward together for good. Providing access to new technologies with our best-in-class networks will have a strong and lasting impact as we strive to help our communities and our society get ready for the next generation and beyond,” said Rudy Reyes, West Region Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Verizon. “Verizon is excited to partner with organizations such as Girl Scouts Heart of Central California to make cutting-edge connectivity and technology more available and accessible, an initiative that will help prepare our communities for the future of work, reduce social disadvantages and increase economic opportunity for everyone.”  

The future of America’s economy is in STEM, but there is a significant shortage of female students interested in STEM and working in STEM careers. While women represent more than half of college-educated workers, only 25 percent of them work in STEM fields, and only 13 percent of the engineering workforce is female. 

Girl Scouts understands the value of programming designed specifically for girls, delivered in an all-girl learning environment. Nationally, seventy-seven percent of girls who have participated in Girl Scout STEM programs say that they are now considering a career in technology. “The Girl Scout STEM program not only addresses this gender disparity but also targets socioeconomic inequities,” Farley said. “Our partnership with Verizon will help us engage even more girls in STEM who might not otherwise have the opportunity.”