Two female-focused, Dallas-based organizations have partnered to boost STEM engagement in young women across the country: Thanks to a gift from Lyda Hill Philanthropies, Texas Women’s Foundation has awarded $638,844 in grant funding to 29 Dallas-Fort Worth nonprofits to increase the usage of the IF/THEN Collection.
Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ IF/THEN is a first-of-its-kind coalition built on the idea that “IF we support a woman in STEM, THEN she can change the world.” A core component of the multi-faceted initiative involved choosing a group women to, in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, be AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors. Using a talent agency model, IF/THEN supports the diverse women in STEM-related professions by showcasing them on a national platform. (Recently, statues of the women opened in an exhibit at NorthPark Center).
That’s where the IF/THEN Collection comes in. The free digital resource hosts thousands of photos, videos, and biographies of the Ambassadors, making it the world’s largest collection to celebrate diverse, contemporary women in STEM careers.
“The goal is for girls everywhere to see STEM as exciting, relevant, and cool, and seeding the visual world around us with images of relatable women is key to making this happen,” Lyda Hill, founder of her eponymous organization. “Because IF she can see it, THEN she can be it.”
In November 2020, organizations applied for the grants through the IF/THEN Fund at Texas Women’s Foundation. When the awards were handed out early this year, the nonprofits used the grants to increase the visual representation of women in STEM via IF/THEN assets.
For instance, the GEMS Camp used its grant to support more than 300 high school girls of color through a program that teaches networking skills and STEM-related lessons using the IF/THEN Collection.
“Whether the outcome is a girl embarking on a STEM career with role models to guide her path, the introduction of STEM in a way that ignites curiosity and ambition among students who haven’t previously considered STEM careers, or elevation of the representation of women in STEM, Texas Women’s Foundation is honored to partner with Lyda Hill Philanthropies IF/THEN Initiative to collaborate in advancing gender equity for today’s girls and tomorrow’s STEM leaders,” Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Texas Women’s Foundation president and CEO said.
The 29 grantees are: A Chance to Learn/Motivated Mom, Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas County, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County, Communities In Schools Dallas Region Inc, Dallas Afterschool (DAS), Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Society Inc, Dallas Zoological Society, Design Connect Create, Fort Worth Zoological Association, Friends of Solar Prep, Frontiers of Flight Museum, GEMS Camp, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Girls Inc. of Tarrant County, Jubilee Park & Community Center, Junior Players Guild, National Math and Science Initiative, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Readers 2 Leaders, REAL School Gardens DBA Out Teach, Shared Housing Center, TalkSTEM, TeCo Theatrical Productions Inc. DBA Bishop Arts Theatre Center, United to Learn, Uplift Education, Young Women’s Preparatory Network, and Young Women’s STEAM Academy at Balch Springs Middle School/Dallas ISD Foundation.
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