NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Million Women Mentors launched the first statewide Girls in IT and STEM Careers event focused solely on driving more girls into STEM-related fields.
Dozens of young ladies from several North Philadelphia middle schools and high schools were invited to Temple University's College of Engineering on Tuesday.
The event encourages women, particularly those of color, toward careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
Naomi Brooks is an aspiring engineer and has already won her share of national competitions. She's currently in high school.
"Hopefully, that opens the door for us to have plenty more opportunities in the future," Brooks said. "Because once you do engineering you can probably get into any other branch of careers."
Her father, in a STEM field himself, advised parents to nurture your child's skills and talent and find a supportive community.
"Once you see that they have it you have to always speak to them positively and help them to set a goal and go for it," said Richard Brooks.
Program organizers say the key is doing it through mentorship.
Participating Temple seniors said took time out of their day give the young girls something someone once gave them---encouragement and guidance.
"When I was a child, if there were such a great mentoring program, I would've been so excited," said Jiabao Ming, a biochemistry major.
"These types of mentoring programs really encourage women to really rise to what they can do," added Jailene Miranda, also a biochemistry major.
The young ladies even had the opportunity to join a simulcast with similar groups Harrisburg and Pittsburgh to discuss STEM projects.
One of the program's supporters, Phoebe Coles, said it's all about exposure and support.
"If you don't see yourself in those places, then you don't know that you belong," said Cole. "You don't know that you're invited, that it's a place that you can also contribute to."
Organizers are recruiting more students for their summer STEM program. For more information, visit:
"Million Women Mentors" Hosts STEM Career Day at Temple University