As a growing number of students enroll at colleges across the country, one trending topic focuses on young women in particular. Though more women are enrolling at higher education institutions every year, many still tend to shy away from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields of study. Despite the gender gap in the classroom, one student from Stevens Institute believes there is a place for women in STEM programs.
In addition to the Stevens Institute of Technology, a number of campuses across the state — including both the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University — have made efforts to encourage more women to join STEM programs.
For this episode of Life & Living with Joanna Gagis, former Bergen Community College Valedictorian and current student at Stevens Institute, Maria De Abreu Pineda, joined Joanna Gagis to talk about being a role model for other young women interested in the sciences.
At Bergen Community College, Pineda studied engineering science, and she is currently studying biomedical engineering at Stevens Institute. Pineda, who moved to the United States from Venezuela after high school, explained that STEM fields offer an incredible variety of employment opportunities for women in America today.
While taking STEM classes and clubs in college, Pineda noticed that she was one of only a handful of girls. She perceived this to be much different from how things were back in Venezuela, where boys and girls in high school are equally encouraged to pursue these fields. Now, she encourages women in America to join the highly motivating and affluent area.
“Do it if you really have the passion for it,” Pineda advised. “Don’t let anyone discourage you, and try to look for mentors.”
“A huge thing for me, that has helped me personally,” she continued, “is to find [female] role models that I can relate to.” She sites role models as a source of inspiration and motivation.
To hear more about the complex and fulfilling world of STEM from Maria De Abreu Pineda, watch the full segment of Life & Living with Joanna Gagis.
For more stories that impact New Jersey residents, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series.
- Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Life & Living with Joanna Gagis / Caucus Educational Corporation