My name is Caroline French, I am 18 years old and live in McLean, VA. In two short weeks, I will be graduating from McLean High School. Next year I will be attending Elon University and entering undecided, but I am interested in studying abroad with a focus on China/Chinese. In high school, I was a Co-President in Girls' Leadership where I help to expand and grow our club to get more women at our school interested in the events we were putting on. This past March we put on an event that we named 'Ladies, Lunch & Learn' where we invited powerful, professional women in our community to come and speak on a panel about their jobs, education, and how their personal lives fit with their jobs. Though it was a successful event, we wished more girls at our school took advantage of this networking event.
As I learned more about the Manufacturing Institute's STEP Program, I became interested in how similar that event is to the one I helped put on. Even though I know I will be attending college next year, college is not for everyone and young students should learn what a manufacturing job is in 2019. As a high school student, I have firsthand experience on the best ways to engage and connect with high school girls.
Based on my involvement with Girls' Leadership, I can outline some actions you can take to engage with your local high schools, or if you're in the area of McLean High School specifically.
To me, women coming to our schools for 'Ladies, Lunch & Learn' began the conversation regarding mentors. Mentors are vital in this growing professional space and it starts with you. Take McLean HS as a key example of how easy it can be to reach out. Therefore, I encourage you to reach to your local high schools today.