Last July, the third cycle of the program Women in STEM, Future Leaders, which started in November of 2017, culminated with great success, with the direct participation of 450 women.
The program lasts almost one year, during which participants have the opportunity to receive personalized mentoring from a tutor, attend training sessions, participate in guided tours to museums, companies and universities, work on individual tasks and projects in team and attend an educational summer camp abroad.
In addition to the impacting the lives of the students and their families, the program consolidated its status as the first of its kind and as the most prestigious mentoring program for women in Mexico. The program was designed and created by Lic. Rebeca Vargas program in 2015, based on her professional experience, with the objective of empowering young Mexican women and directing them to study a career related to STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It is implemented by the U.S.-Mexico Foundation in collaboration with the Secretarías de Educación Pública of the States of Puebla, Chihuahua and Sonora; and the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes.
The 10-month program ended with a memorable graduation event that took place at the Soumaya Museum on July 5th, 2018. The event was attended by more than 300 people and members of the press. The presidium was comprised of the Secretario de Educación y Deporte del Estado de Chihuahua Pablo Cuarón, the Counselor of Instituto Nacional para la evaluación de la educación Patricia Vázquez del Mercado, the Directora General de Educación Media Superior y Superior de la Secretaría de Educación y Cultura del Estado de Sonora Lourdes del Carmen Tato Palma, the Subsecretario de Comunicaciones y Transportes Edgar Olvera and the U.S.- Mexico Foundation President and CEO and creator of the program Women in STEM, Future Leaders Rebeca Vargas.
Blanca Treviño, Lorena Guillé-Laris and Juan Alberto González, Board Members of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation also attended the event.
During their 10-month participation in the program, the participants received personalized mentoring from a professional who works in STEM areas; attended online seminars on leadership, communication and fields of science and technology; visited companies and universities in their State of origin; They interacted with participants from other states, completed homework and groupwork and finally participated in a summer camp abroad.
To conclude the program and expand the horizons of the participants, the summer camp was held in New York City. The students had the opportunity to attend presentations at renowned companies in the STEM world, explore opportunities at universities such as Columbia University, City University of New York and New York University, visit museums and places of interest, and meet with personalities and young people from New York.
The camp serves as the closure of the program to reinforce what has been learned throughout the program and boost the potential of the students.
During the graduation event, Pablo Cuaron encouraged the students to never give up and to always continue on their path with effort. The Secretario also highlighted the commitment of the Governor to support the development of women and youth to achieve their dreams in terms of education and a better quality of life for their families.
The Subsecretario Edgar Olvera, on behalf of the Secretario Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, highlighted how proud they are to participate in the program and the great pleasure that has given to him and the Secretario to be able to meet the participants and witness their immense desire for personal growth they have and the transformation they have undergone during the program. The Subsecretario recommended to the students to never forget their experiences during the program and wished them the best of luck as they begin their university studies. Likewise, the Subsecretario highlighted the achievements of the SCT during this administration in expanding the access of information technologies for the Mexican population, which are used in this program. Finally, he thanked Rebeca Vargas for inviting them to participate in Women in STEM, Future Leaders and congratulated her for her passion and leadership.
Patricia Vázquez of INEE congratulated the students for concluding the program and remembered with nostalgia and pride when, in response to the proposal of Rebeca Vargas, she sponsored the first cycle of the program in 2016. The Counselor made reference to the beginning of the program working with Rebeca and the great satisfaction that comes from witnessing the successful expansion of the program and its continuous impact on the participants.
Lourdes Tato thanked Rebeca Vargas and the U.S-Mexico Foundation for their collaboration in the successful implementation of the program in the State of Sonora for the second year and congratulated the graduates on behalf of Secretario Onésimo Mariscales.
During her speech, Rebeca Vargas thanked the participants' parents with touching words for allowing her to work with their daughters, the students for their great effort and desire to transcend, the mentors for their invaluable collaboration and impact on the students, and all the people from allied institutions with whom the USMF collaborates in the implementation of the program without whom this dream would not be a reality. She also thanked the Slim Foundation for opening the doors of the Soumaya Museum for the graduation event. Rebeca congratulated the students and urged them never to forget what they had learned and to always set their dreams and goals and make an effort to fulfill them.
She also reminded them that after the graduation, when they returned to real life, they should remember that they are not and will not be alone because they are already part of a unique network of professional Mexican women in STEM, committed to supporting each other.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor or you know someone who could be, please share this link to send your application and be part of a network of women working together to support the new Mexican talent!