Applications to the Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) Dream STEM Lead program second cohort are now open! The program will begin February 1, 2022, and applications are due by January 15, 2022. Through an eight-week virtual and tech-centered entrepreneurial experience for young women of color, ages 16 to 24, participants build leadership skills through relationships and mentorships, receive support to increase pathways to STEM careers resulting in a BestBuy participant certification, and increase awareness of their own potential to advance STEM solutions.
During the program, participants generate ideas to solve socioeconomic problems in their communities using technology. With the assistance of women in STEM as professional mentors, participants work in teams to design, prototype, and test solutions for the problems they identify as relevant to them and their communities. The program combines the foundational concepts of software design, leadership traits, entrepreneurship, and the important work of social justice. Participants gain 21st century skills such as critical thinking, communication, creative problem solving, and collaboration, all important skills in today’s digital workforce.
The YWI Dream STEM Lead collaborative was created to increase young women in STEM and mid- to high-wage fields and to harness the power of young women who are already leading in social justice. Participants will receive a stipend at the conclusion of the program and have access to STEM networking and opportunities with mentors.
The program is designed for Black, Indigenous, and women of color, ages 16 to 24, including those who identify with one or more of the following communities: Black/African American, African Immigrant, American Indian, Hispanic/Latina, and Asian/Pacific Islander. Black, Indigenous, and young women of color who live in rural areas, identify as LGBTQ+, and live with a disability are highly encouraged to apply. U.S. citizenship is not required. Our definition of a young woman includes anyone who identifies as a woman, inclusive of transgender, gender non-conforming, gender nonbinary, and all gender-expansive people who experience gender-based structural harm.