For Immediate Release: December 17, 2015
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe and Virginia Council on Women Announce the 5th Annual STEM Essay Contest

~Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe to Serve as Co-Chairs~

 

RICHMOND – Today Governor McAuliffe and the Virginia Council on Women announced the 5th annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Essay Contest for high school junior and senior girls.

The Council will award five $5,000 scholarships to female junior or senior high school students who will be pursuing a STEM career at an institution of higher education. One scholarship will be awarded in each of five geographic regions across the state. Additional 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 381 essay submissions and thanks to the generosity of sponsors, distributed $33,000 in scholarships to five girls. 

Speaking about the contest, Governor Terry McAuliffe said, “Encouraging all of our students to learn and succeed in high demand STEM fields is critical to Virginia’s ability to compete in the 21st Century economy. I am pleased that the Virginia Council on Women and the Science Museum of Virginia are offering this contest yet again, and expanding their efforts to encourage Virginia’s young women to lead the future in these key areas. Innovative ideas like the STEM Essay Contest help open our students to new learning experiences and strengthen Virginia’s ability to prepare our children for future success.”

Ms. Tracy Key, Co-Chair of the Essay Contest, commented, “The Council believes opportunities offered to women early in life will help lead to their future successes, and supporting young ladies who want to pursue a career in STEM is critical to our future workforce.”

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/council-on-women/. Entries must be submitted by February 8, 2016.  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 28, 2016.  The scholarship awards will be presented at a reception at the Executive Mansion on April 20, 2016.

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/council-on-women/.

 

###