The first official day of summer is quickly approaching, and as the weather grows warmer and school draws to a close, many of the grantees from our most recent grant cycle are reflecting on recent spring programming and gearing up for summer STEM-based opportunities for young girls in our community.
Earlier this year, High-Tech High Heels granted $20,000 towards the After-School All-Stars (ASAS) North Texas #femSTEM Program to cover 2019 spring, summer and fall programming for middle school girls in Dallas County. 89 girls attended this spring, with 80-100 expected between summer and fall programming.
ASAS vision is for all of its All-Stars to be safe and healthy, to graduate high school and go to college, to find careers they love and then give back to their communities. ASAS’ partnership with High-Tech High Heels gives young girls in our community the opportunity to build interest in STEM, explore STEM careers and learn skills that will give them the tools needed to be successful in high school and beyond. For Destiny, a 7th grader at Hector P Garcia Middle School, ASAS offers her a safe place to grow in confidence, build relationships with caring adult mentors and just be a kid.
Read on for Destiny’s story and hear how HTHH’s support and partnership with ASAS build brighter futures for All-Star students.
Meet Destiny, a #femSTEM All-Star!
“My name is Destiny and I am in 7th grade at Hector P Garcia Middle School. I joined All-Stars last year in November when I was in the 6th grade. Before I started coming to All-Stars, I was really shy at school and I wasn’t doing good in my classes. I didn’t let people see the real me. I also used to be in the streets, and for real I used to hang out with the wrong crowd. All-Stars has changed everything.
I don’t hang out in the streets anymore after-school. Now I get to do really fun things at ASAS. Some of my favorite clubs are DJ Music Production, Fashion Design, and #femSTEM. Right now in #femSTEM we’re building boats out of paper plates and aluminum foil. At the end of year showcase we’re going to test them out, and see whose boat can hold the most pennies without sinking. I like #femSTEM a lot because I think it’s sometimes easier for me to try new things when it’s just girls around. Ms. Vonna, our #femSTEM teacher, makes it fun and she tries to help us learn the same things we’re learning at school. Earlier this year my grade had a big science lab project during the school day. Ms. Vonna talked to our science teachers and had the #femSTEM club do a project afterschool that used many of the same science words that were in the lab. It made it easier for me to understand at school!
The clubs are fun, but All-Stars is more than that. ASAS has taught me how to be a better person. My favorite memory is when we went on a volunteer field trip to help at a homeless shelter. We gave food to homeless people that didn’t have money. It made me feel good because I made a difference. Now every time my family doesn’t finish our food at home we give the extra to homeless by the freeway. The field trip made me realize how many people are less fortunate than me. Some people give back because it makes them feel good, but I do it because I like helping people. I used to be greedy and a bad person and I thought everyone in the world deserved what they got. All-Stars taught me how to see other people and my community differently. I understand that everyone has hard times and has problems.
I’m so thankful that All-Stars came into my life last year. I know if I wasn’t here after-school I would be doing things I shouldn’t out in the neighborhood. All-Stars has taught me to be a better person, try harder in school, and given me opportunities to learn new things.
ASAS really is everything to me. I’ve grown tremendously through All-Stars. My grades are up, and I’ve come out of my shell a lot since last year. Mrs. T, our Site Coordinator, encouraged me to be myself and do things I thought I couldn’t do. All the staff puts up with us every day and we’re a lot of work! I’m grateful the staff hasn’t given up on us. I’m so glad I have All-Stars.”
Donate to High-Tech High Heels
If you are interested in supporting High-Tech High Heels with funding impactful programs that inspire the next generation of girls to select a college-level degree program in STEM, consider a recurring or one-time donation here.