1000 GIRLS 1000 FUTURES
The U.S.-Mexico Foundation has developed and implemented "1,000 Girls-1,000 Futures," in Mexico; an international STEM mentorship program for high school girls designed in collaboration with the New York Academy of Sciences and the Secretaria de Educacion Publica (SEP) in the State of Puebla.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) will be some of the most important sectors of the economy in the future, and Mexico, and the world will need many new professionals in these fields to fill new jobs. Currently, these fields experience a heavy gender imbalance that reduces the number of qualified professionals available to fill these much-needed positions.
The 1,000 Girls-1,000 Futures program is a part of the New York Academy of Science's (NYAS) Global STEM Alliance that focuses on addressing this challenge by encouraging and helping young women in high school across the world to pursue their dreams of studying and working in these key fields. The program accomplishes this goal by connecting students with female mentors who work in STEM-related areas who can inspire and guide their mentees to academic and professional success in these fields.
Part of a three-year commitment to provide 1,000 high school girls worldwide with the tools they need to triumph in STEM, the program launched in 2015 in the United Kingdom, India, China, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Turkey, the United States and Mexico.
1,000 Girls-1,000 Futures in Mexico
The U.S.-Mexico Foundation has successfully implemented this program in Mexico for the first time. Working with government entities, academic institutions, civil society and corporations in Mexico, the USMF has implemented this program in Mexico, recruiting 60 high school girls from the state of Puebla, and over 150 female mentors from academia and the private sector to participate in the program's first year.
Mexico represents the largest international group of participants in the program, after the United States, thanks to effective partnerships with the SEP and Government of Puebla, the INAOE, BUAP, UPAEP, UNAM, Conacyt, Academia de Ingeniería de México, Softtek, Microsoft, and Volkswagen.
The program was officially launched on September 11th 2015, at a reception with over 300 attendees, including the 62 young participants. Speakers included the governor of Puebla, Rafael Moreno Valle, José Antonio Gali, the mayor of Puebla, Rebeca Vargas, President & CEO of the USMF, Ellis Rubinstein, CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences, program mentor Professor Ofelia Cervantes of the Universidad de las Américas Puebla, and Fabiola Antonio, one of the young girls participating in the program.
- One year of one on one mentorship relationships connecting high school girls to mentors with substantial experience in STEM, who share their interests, and can guide and inspire them to study and work in STEM fields.
- Online platform that provides students with courses and training to develop key skills they will need for college and beyond, including leadership, communication, critical thinking and college readiness.
- Access via the online platform to an international community and support network of women, both students, and mentors, who share their passion for STEM.
- Travel to New York City for the program's conclusion in the summer of 2016 to meet and network with program participants from across the world.
WATCH: Interview with USMF President and CEO Rebeca Vargas about the program for Canal 11:
WATCH: Despierta América feature on program
Additional components in Mexico
- Two-week onboarding course for the selected students, focusing on English and STEM skills
- Ongoing weekly in-person follow up sessions on Saturdays throughout the school year to develop English, STEM and soft skills
- Field trips to various locations related to STEM. For instance, participants visited the Audi Capacitation Center in Puebla in April 2016
The group at the Audi plant, R: Students participate at an educational fair at the UDLAP
- In addition, the students also participate in various activities whose purpose is to enhance their personal and creative development. Some of these activities have included painting a mural and taking part in a musical performance activity at the Centro Escolar Morelos
Formula 1 Competition
Recently, a team made up of 5 1000 Girls-1000 Futures participants placed in the top 3 at an engineering competition in the state of Puebla sponsored by Formula 1. They went on to compete at the national final. The aim of the contest was to design and build a model car that could reach a certain distance in the shortest amount of time.
USMF CEO Rebeca Vargas with Formula 1 contest winners displaying the car they built at the Código X event organized by the Presidency of Mexico
Rebeca Vargas with the 1000 Girls-1000 Futures team at the national finals of the Formula 1 competition
1000 Girls-1000 Futures participants supporting their team at the Formula 1 competition
Trip to New York City
Participants in Central Park
The first generation of the 1000 Girls-1000 Futures program culminated with a graduation trip to New York City during the final two weeks of July 2016. In the course of this trip, which was the majority of participants’ first time abroad, students stayed at CUNY’s Brooklyin College campus, where they took English classes in the mornings. During the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to explore all that New York City has to offer, not only by visiting many of the City’s landmarks like the Statue of Liberty or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but by also meeting with distinguished professionals within the fields of STEM disciplines.
Students take a class at CUNY
Participants visiting Times Square and the Statue of Liberty
Participants at the New York Hall of Science
Taking a class with Rita Sánchez at Columbia University
A central component of their stay in New York was their participation in an international summit for young women in STEM hosted by the Global STEM Alliance, where they represented Mexico, and were by far the largest delegation out of any of the participating countries. The summit offered our participants the unique opportunity to hear from top speakers, participate in educational sessions, and meet young women from around the world who shared their passion for STEM.
The group meeting participants from around the world at the GSA summit
USMF CEO Rebeca Vargas with program participants
1000 Girls-1000 Futures participants receiving their diplomas
On July 29th 2016, the first edition of the 1000 Girls-1000 Futures program came to an end through a graduation ceremony which was held at CUNY's Hunter College. Speakers for the event included Vivian Juarez, Deputy Consul General on behalf of Amb. Diego Gomez Pickering, Consul General of Mexico in New York, Carlos Menchaca, New York City Council Member, Michelle Moreno, Chief of Staff, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Lorraine Harinton, SVP Global Partnerships at the NYAS, Patricia Vazquez, Secretary of Education of the State of Puebla, and Rebeca Vargas, President & CEO of the USMF.
USMF CEO and President Rebeca Vargas
Patricia Vázquez, Secretary of Public Education of the State of Puebla
Michelle Moreno Chief of Staff for The White House Initiative on educational excellence for Hispanics
Additionally, several of the students' mentors and teachers took to the stage to share words of congratulations to the students. We also had the opportunity to hear the testimonies of several of our program's participants, who shared their stories of personal growth and transformation.
Participants share their testimonies
Mentors, teachers, and staff receive special recognition for their dedication
Program implemented in collaboration with:
Click here for information on how to apply to the 2017 Mujeres en STEM program