“Here’s to those who inspire you and don’t even know it.” —Anonymous

“You changed our life without even trying, and I don’t think we could ever tell you how much you mean to us. We can’t imagine what things would be like if we hadn’t met you.” —Steve Maraboli

The time you spent with us varied and your “kind words may have been short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” —Mother Teresa

Dear Ms. Aisha Lawrey,

Thank you for supporting SIP by joining our 2019 STEM Into Spring Speaker’s Panel. We are honored to say we are connected with you, a phenomenal woman who is changing the game in the STEM-field. SIP was left in awe after hearing your inspirational speech at the 2019 GMU Youth Engineering Conference about going from a 1.9 GPA to being a director of multiple organizations. Your perseverance and empowering energy were so beautiful, that they motivated us to invite you to be a panelist, knowing your presence will bring great impact into our local communities as you had on us.

By sharing your journey and wisdom as a woman of color who's climbed the ladder to success despite the turbulences within the systemic racism, has not only did you inspire parents and children to go into the STEM-field, but you’ve presented to them they are capable of reaching for the higher levels of success in the STEM-field as a role model yourself. Even after the panel ended, you’ve made time to speak with us and carry on a raw, authentic discussion during lunch. We hold those memories dear to our hearts because they were special and meaningful moments for us. We are so honored to say we’re connected and to see you recognized for your incredible contributions like your life statue showcased in the If-Then-She-Can exhibit. Meeting your trailblazing energy is what we’re grateful for and we look forward to hearing all the wonderful girl boss moves you’ll be continuing in the future!

Dear Ms. Ashaki Sorrell,

Thank you for supporting SIP by joining our 2020 SIP Guest Speaker Series. By sharing your journey and wisdom as a Program Manager, you have unequivocally impacted us in ways we are grateful for and have positively contributed to the strength SIP has gained individually and as an organization at large.

Listening to you speak about different leadership skills and tools like the Clifton Strengths assessment and the ‘5 Whys’ method, which has benefited us tremendously. We originally planned on taking a strengths assessment, but hearing you speak was our catalyst in motivating us to complete the test urgently from the value it offers. The assessment has not only offered a valuable internship for Hermela where she created an internal seminar for SIP, but it has allowed us to strengthen our relationship and use our strengths and weaknesses as a tool in the way we operate within SIP. You’ve inspired and supported us to achieve our ambitions as business executives by speaking your truth and experiences climbing the ladder as a woman of color. We are appreciative for the time you have given and for sharing meaningful information with us. We look forward to the wonderful things you’ll contribute to the world and carry on this beautiful connection we have with each other!

Dear Ms. Scott,

Thank you for supporting SIP by joining our 2020 SIP Guest Speaker Series. By sharing your experiences and journey in finding your passion despite the obstacles you’ve faced, has left us inspired and driven to reach our goals.

As a group of Black and Brown girls, it was exciting and thrilling to see the beautiful outfits you’ve created using a laser cutter and learn more of how technology and fashion intersect in your occupation as an innovator. The authenticity in our conversation was able to create a meaningful experience and has created a deep connection.

Dear Le Bustiere Boutique (https://lebustiere.com/):

Thank you for supporting SIP by helping us find our bra sizes for our body shapes. It was exciting learning about our bodies through trying different bras and the stories Stephanie and Marsha shared about running a self-made business and self-growth through helping clients with fitting respectively.

We appreciated the warm and welcoming energy we’ve received in the boutique and the encouraging message of body positivity, self-care and the ability to set ourselves up for dressing for success. Needless to say as we embark on our first internships, after our freshman year in college, your advice will not only come in handy it will give us an added layer of confidence to when addressing the challenges of our work experiences - priceless!

Dear Ms. Solita Roberts,

The STEM Impressionists want to thank you for guiding us to styling ourselves for success, especially in virtual settings during the COVID age. When you spoke with us, we had senior students who were entering college and thus into a new chapter of adulting. We’re constantly aiming to grow in presenting ourselves as we continue to express our personal and career ambitions.

Your feedback helped to understand how to effectively emphasize how to present ourselves online. You also encouraged us to honor our individuality with the choices we could make through the purchase or styling of different clothing items.

Your dedication to helping people to develop and showcase their personal and professional styles through the digital world is powerful. It was an honor to receive incredible insight on ways we can elevate how we currently present ourselves, to becoming awesome women bosses taking over the world!

Dear Mr. Aaron Cannon,

The STEM Impressionists Program would like to thank you for embodying a role model for many Glasgow students including ourselves. Your hard-driven charisma to go above and beyond for the students who admire you brings us great joy and comfort. Unfortunately, it is not as common as we’d like for there to be a minority male leader/educator. We know that your presence alone has shown a great impact on our community. You excel at the work you achieve with high success and perseverance.

Dear Mr. Charles Britt,

Your words carry truth and you were kind enough to share them with the STEM Impressionists Program during our 2019 Guest Speaker Series. For some it was life-changing, for others it brought excitement and possibility. Your seminar persuaded a student to break out of her childhood bubble of becoming a doctor and pursue the career of her dreams: Cybersecurity. SIP finds you to be an innovative figure who continues to test limits and prove the impossible to be possible. The world is in need of leaders like you who are ready to be at the frontline fighting against injustices, and inequitable systems in place. Although changing the world may seem far from achievable, doing it together allows us to believe that we can conquer.

You open up doors of wonder for students unaware of their horizons. Your expertise and knowledge are greatly cherished by SIP members who receive mentorship from you. Your dedication to helping people, leading outreach programs, and exhibiting moral and ethical courage is profoundly impressive. We are happy to continue witnessing the influence you have on your community.

Dear Ms. Joyce Matthews,

The STEM Impressionists Program would like to thank you for welcoming us into a new field of STEM. Venturing into VEX Robotics was a first to many of the students who attended the Summer VEX Robotics Program at Glasgow. Your energetic personality, sense of humor, and kind smile were a breath of fresh air. We enjoyed having your words of wisdom to hear whenever times of challenge would arise. You created an environment where each and every one of us was comfortable enough to ask questions, seek help, and fail. We continued exploring VEX robotics and in 2018, we traveled to the Global VEX Robotics competition to sit in discussion groups with judges, evaluate programmed code, and robotic functions.

You emphasized the significance of incorporating design thinking, identifying a problem and solving it, articulating conceptual thoughts, developing presentational tactics, strategizing in a team, and self-teaching. These skills are well consistent in our everyday adult life and are becoming well-rehearsed thanks to your preparations. You were successful in creating a core memory that would reside in the SIP community forever!

Dear Kavya Kopparapu,

On behalf of the STEM Impressionists, we would love to thank you for assisting us in our journey. Your Girls Computing League Non-profit organization is a movement for girls who require guidance to pursue their dreams. It provides exposure and sheds light on bright minds who were never given the right resources. Similarly, the STEM Impressionists Program is focused on building a legacy that caters to underrepresented groups. Both organizations document years of nurture amongst our community by curating events that share a unity and embrace amongst one another.

With your grant, we were able to host an engineering event entitled STEM Into Spring at an FCPS Title one elementary school. The students were engaged in a multi-venue of STEM incorporated activities led by women of resilience. We are grateful for your involvement and we recognize that you believe in our originality to pursue wondrous opportunities.

Your leadership and innovative attributes are unparalleled to this world; you have showcased amazing creations and spread care towards others. Your passion to help people is beyond many people’s radar, yet you are unafraid to outperform. Not only are The STEM Impressionists Program thankful towards you, but so is the World.

On behalf of the STEM Impressionists Program, we would like to thank you for offering us a space to showcase our passion to over a hundred girls. We admire your diligence to recognize the power of exposing STEM to young female leaders! Partnering with your George Mason FOCUS Camp encouraged us to continue hosting engineering events for other minority groups, as we saw the early benefits with you. The girls were in touch with their innovative side, gained entrepreneurship skills, voiced their ambitions, and were overall excited to be a part of a change. What you lead was bigger than a classroom setting, it broke boundaries and enriched the student’s mentality for the following years.

Your camp was one of SIP’s first chapters and certainly not the end; it inspired us to expand our limits and reach for the stars. Therefore, we are forever grateful to have collaborated with you to curate such a brilliant project for our future youth generation!

“Thank you for brightening our world.” —Anonymous

“Thank you for being an important part of our story.” —Anonymous

“The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life and make you see the sun where you once saw clouds. The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too. The people that love you, simply for being you. The once in a lifetime kind of people.” —Anonymous

Dear Mr. Michael Boufford,

Thank you for accepting our invitation to speak with the STEM Impressionists Program and coordinating a group of talented businesswomen to speak with us. Our peer-to-peer workshops allowed every member of SIP to gain emotional intelligence, challenge our inner weaknesses, and recognize various positions of company growth. Our meeting has continued to impact us in a way that expands our possibilities of entrepreneurship, building philanthropic organizations, pursuing freelance, and joining corporate and non-profit boards. We are always learning and producing which is fundamentally a characteristic of working in a team. We witnessed the natural collaboration amongst your team that made our meeting unforgettable.

Your story of how Greenhouse was born was imaginative and empowering to students who also dream of taking initiative. SIP members believe you to be an idealist who successfully executes visions. We are grateful to you and your team for sharing intimate experiences and advice on building our expertise.

Dear Ruth-Ann Armstrong,

The STEM Impressionists would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with us about your experience throughout your academic endeavors. Your inspiring story regarding the struggles you have faced transitioning from high school to university in the US was admiring. When you had first spoke with us, we had senior students who are attending their first year of college. We recognized the similarities in the sacrifices and endearing times we had to undergo to be successfully equipped for these challenges. Your advice of becoming a self-advocate has provided us with the head-start to face our new battles. We are excited to inform you a student from SIP has recently been accepted to Standford University. Your authenticity to connect with us has been of immeasurable value. We are glad that our paths will cross, again!


It takes a village to raise a child and you are part of the STEM Impressionists’ village. You are always shown up in our favorite places: the NoVa Maker Faire, the KID Museum, and the National Museum of African American History. We have bumped into each other so much now that I have even met your husband! Needless to say, we love the same things and run in the same circles. While I am taking a moment to say think you for all of your suggestions and support for my students based on our habit of running into each other I am looking forward to our next meeting! Maybe next time we can grab a coffee.


How long has it been since we met? I remember you coming into my classroom and looking at the library of F amily and Consumer Science (FACS) books that contained my self-created lesson plans, recipes, and textile references. We laughed during my lunch duty while you asked me questions that turned up in your highly successful book on Home Economics. What a joy to see my name in print and even more importantly what a wonderful way to start meeting new people who have read your book and then reached out to me to ask questions and offer me speaking opportunities! It is such a wonderful way to share my passion for FACS and the power it has in people’s lives - especially the middle school students I was teaching when we met. Thank you for expanding my world and introducing me to a wide variety of people who without your connection I would have never met. This is fun, this journey of sharing the value of FACS, and it has been made all the better because we have stayed in touch since we met in middle school.

Dear Ms. Abrar Omeish,

Thank you for supporting Beyond 1619 by joining the seminar as a guest speaker. As a student who attended Fairfax County Public Schools, it was enlightening and inspiring to talk to an FCPS alumnus about the systemic racism that not only occurs in the country as a whole but in our education system too. Having these difficult conversations allowed those who attended the seminar to share their thoughts and feelings on a platform created for students and adults. Through listening to you share your mission and the raw passion in your voice as you discussed the issues that plague our community, I was given a model for how I can address my interests with the same vigor and grace to support myself and my community.

Dear Dr. Clint Smith,

Thank you for supporting my Beyond 1619 project by granting me access to your poem. As a black student at a high school that lacked diversity, it was especially inspiring to listen to you speak about our country’s history of systemic racism. Following the murder of George Floyd, I found that I lacked a space to talk about world news, so I took action.

By creating Beyond 1619, I was able to provide a platform for local high school students and adults could discuss what was going on in the world. Your poem moved the attendees of Beyond 1619 while also sparking insightful and difficult conversations.

Dear Ms. Renee Edwards,

Thank you for supporting SIP by promoting and hosting Beyond 1619. When we met, the world was in chaos following the murder of George Floyd. We all had mixed emotions with no place to share our thoughts. In addition to this, we were stuck in lockdown from a pandemic that had turned everything upside down.

Your help and willingness to provide us with a platform to talk about what was going on in the world allowed us to take these feelings and produce a seminar that supported our community’s high school students and adults. With your help, we were able to continue the journey of advocating for change that started with Beyond 1619 by attending anti-racism training and by speaking at seminars held by our public school system.

Your help was pivotal to my journey and it is my intent to continue use the skills I learned during this self-created workshop as I walk forward in my life.

Dear Dr. Sossina Haile,

On behalf of the STEM Impressionists, thank you for supporting SIP by joining our 2020 SIP Guest Speaker Series. When I first started working on my website design project, Mx. DeHart challenged me to choose someone who represents minority female accomplishments so that we could enhance our knowledge of women’s history. That conversation inspired me to research a female with a similar background as me. I decided to look for someone with whom I could relate culturally and ran into you.

As a group comprised of Brown and Black girls, your anecdotes regarding the challenges you have faced throughout your journey are ones that we have experienced. Your persistence to reach your goals was inspiring and encouraged us to pursue our passions with a similar determination. Being able to discuss the struggles of being minorities in a male-dominated field, choosing career paths, and the importance of grit allowed me to remember that through the obstacles, we can begin to make a change in the world.

Dear Ms. Bulls,

I met you by attending a 50/50 Women on Boards event. Being in your small group and listening to the extensive history you have with serving on boards inspired me to support the students I mentor in achieving that same goal. Per your suggestions, our organization joined the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and subscribes to Agenda. While those resources are fabulous listening to you talk is tantalizing and consistently inspires me to take action on this goal. I believe that ensuring that K12 students know about the possibility of sitting on a board could change the vision they have for their career.

Because of the information, I have learned about boards and board service as my students enter college they are engaged in learning and practicing the skills that will lead them to the C-suite and/or a corporate board directorship. Thus far they are the youngest students to attend the 50/50 WOB classes. I am positive that the knowledge they now possess, in addition to the continued pursuit of their personal career opportunities and their passion for giving back to their community will support a pathway for other minority girls to see more women who look like them in positions of significance in corporate America. Without waiting for the years it takes to acquire a C-suite position to pass before they reach back, my students speak to young scholars and share their present-day journeys. Our goal is that students see women of all ages striving for their aspirations, including the opportunity to serve. When you reach for the stars if you miss you will surely have achieved more than you expected. Your support inspires us to strive.

Dear Huwe Burton,

On behalf of The STEM Impressionists Program, thank you for joining our 2018 SIP Guest Speaker Series and sharing your story with us. We truly appreciate your vulnerability and openness when sharing your experiences with a system that wrongfully convicted you. Hearing your story touched our hearts but your resilience through adversity has inspired us as Black and Brown students who are navigating this world.

The lessons you shared with us have been pivotal in our work and have helped shape our understanding of the justice system and organizations like the Innocence Project that are doing pivotal work across the country. We greatly appreciate you and the work you are currently involved in advocating for a change!

“Thank you for touching my life in ways you never know. My riches do not lie in material wealth but in having connection to people like YOU.” —Anonymous

“Your advice is a special gift. Generously given, happily accepted and deeply appreciated!” —Anonymous

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” You changed ours. —Nelson Mandela

Dear Dr. Janine Duncan,

I want to thank you for reaching out to me and offering me the opportunity to connect with the students in your Family and Consumer Science program. I was in the process of formalizing my speaking bureau details when you, on the information shared in Danielle book , reached out to me to connect. What a pleasant surprise!

It is my passion to meet with students and give them practical examples of how they can highlight the STEM that is inherently embodied in FACS, especially when they are at the beginning of their journey into the classroom. I hope, with the regression of COVID, our paths will cross at a FACS seminar or convention. It was a joy to meet you and to support your students.

The first time I wanted to speak to you I check and verified your name in triplicate before I walked into your room and understand with confidence that your first name was Kyle AND you were a female! Love that gender-bender!

I have so many memories of being too tired to clean kitchens and wandering over to your room for a chat. I lived for those moments! You were so much fun to talk to. With your passion for teaching kids math, your camping stories, you listened and most importantly you helped me with the students by hosting and visiting their STEM projects. Priceless!

It is an honor to call you my twin! It makes me smile just knowing that we were born on the same magical day. It was wonderful to meet and befriend you as a teacher, a person, and a STEM enthusiast. I hope that you are enjoying retirement as much as I am!

Dear Kyle Franklin,

You are the definition of “good people.” Your spirit not only champions students’ with socio-emotional support in addition to being dedicated to offering students that would otherwise be overlooked or underserved opportunities that develop their skills; and you have been doing this for years. You were my light when we were working together. I appreciate more than I can ever express, the continued collaboration and flow of resources that you offered during our partnership.

We meet at the MakerFaire and didn’t see each other for years - and yet, upon sight, we remembered. That is a telling attribute of two people who recognize their ability to make changes and who have individually dedicated themselves to the same mission: to support underrepresented students in their excellence.

While I wish we had met at a different time in my career I am glad our paths crossed again and that we had several moments to influence students with STEM. I look forward to seeing what you choose to do once you retire. Your generosity to others will be missed once you move forward with your life. Thank you for every moment of support you gave me. It was and continues to be the light of my time at our shared institution.

Dear Jehron Petty,

You are a valued member of the STEM Impressionists community. Your work with ColorStack is changing the lives of college Computer Science students across the country. While there are growing efforts to attract more underrepresented groups to STEM, there isn’t enough conversation and action about retaining the students that are struggling.

The support system, mentorship and opportunities ColoStack provides Black and Latinx CS students is unparalleled. As SIP works to support more students to excel in their careers, we are grateful to be in community with an institution like yours. Thank you for the incredible work you are doing.

Dear Kathia Flemmens,

Your enthusiasm and warmth is forever a part of the STEM Impressionists. Working with you to expand Cyber-AI, SIP’s introductory Cybersecurity and AI seminar for girls was a profound moment for us. We not only got to see what an incredible teacher you are but also your commitment and passion for helping Black and Brown girls. You embody what it means to be a part of the STEM Impressionists.

You connected us with Mariama Ba, an all girls boarding school in Senegal. You came to every meeting, translating and helping us coordinate ways to support the girls. We also appreciate you continuously sending us other opportunities that might be of interest. Your unwavering support and infectious energy is invaluable. Your students are beyond lucky to have you. Thank you for being a valuable part of the SIP community.

Dear Sasha Alston,

For most of us, you were the first Guest Speaker we had, not only in SIP but in our entire lives. As middle schoolers, we were awed at the fact that such a young girl could be a published author. As you spoke of your passion, determination and goals, you ignited the same mission within a lot of us. Although we weren’t the target readers for Sasha Savvy Loves to Code, we are the target audience for witnessing your impact.

Watching your success throughout your college journey has been a joy. Seeing another Black woman our age trailblazing has been inspirational. See her, Be her. Thank you for relentlessly pursuing your business ventures, internships and education; for being a role model and for your service in making sure other girls who look like you can also have a chance at being their own Sashas.

Dear Shani Carter-McKinney,

Thank you for supporting the STEM Impressionists by joining our 2020 Guest Speaker Series. During a critical time in which many of our members were applying to college, you shared your insights from your undergraduate experience as well as business school. As the youngest members of SIP finish high school, our conversation with you continues to help us prepare for the next chapter of our lives.

You are an avid community leader and role model. Since community service is one of the pillars the STEM Impressionists is built upon, we appreciated that not only are you a successful business woman but you also give back and incorporate helping those around you in your business vision. We can’t wait to see what you do next. Thank you for being a part of our journey.

Dear Marybeth Haneline,

I was just being curious when you invited me into your orbit and helped me change the lives of a significant number of students; you took me to places that expanded my horizons and as a direct result of your influence, I was able to positively alter the lives of many students:

- I became a robotics coach and at least 12 students won state or national robotics awards
- I was nominated for teacher of the year which eventually garnered me 2 different national teacher awards
- I was introduced to corporate boards and three of my students became the youngest attendees at 50/50 Women on Board training seminar

Your gifts to me directly influence what I was able to offer my students. It is my pleasure to publicly share my appreciation for your generosity of spirit and access to priceless opportunities for me and the students I serve. It takes a village to raise children, I am proud that you invited me to walk with you in yours. The seeds that we have planted are and will continue to bloom over time; our legacy is generating fruit as the students I have supported are going back to pay it forward to the students at the schools where we meet. That circle of giving is something our collaboration generated and that we should both be proud of. I couldn’t have done it without you - your generous and continued support has been evergreen.

Dear Adrian Mims,

Thank you for taking the time to share your advice on education with the STEM Impressionists. Your counseling on the personal growth behind challenging oneself to obtain a higher education was insightful. It was especially informative to be reminded about the value of mathematics and its reach in every field of STEM. We also loved meeting your students; we found the well organized peer-to-peer support of your program to be grounding, similar to our support system.

The anecdotes you shared regarding the importance of supporting minorities and diversifying the STEM community were inspirational. We know that individuals like you help make a difference in the lives of young scholars. Your support is immensely appreciated and your continued dedication to sharing your skills is life-changing to the students you support.

Dear Principal Vanderhye and the STEM-inspired adults of Belvedere,

Thank you for supporting the STEM Impressionists’ Hour of Code and STEM into Spring programs. Your welcoming invitation to host these events at your school allowed us to give back to our community using what we have learned in SIP.

Developing an Hour of Code event where students were introduced to computer science through hands-on activities was an educational experience not only for the 5th graders, but for the student educators as well. When this event led to the creation of an engineering seminar called STEM into Spring, the continuation of our peer-to-peer approach, we were able to create a learning space for K-12. The high schoolers students managed the event and gained leadership experience. The middle school students learned how to write and then taught their self-created lesson plans. The elementary school students, who were scheduled to attend the middle school where their peer educators were attending, enthusistically participated in the introduction to engineering program. While this remain one of the best examples of the power of peer-to-peer teaching that SIP has ever created it would not have been possible without the support of the administration at Belevedere.

Not only did we had a wonderful time teaching you the lesson plan model we created at Belevedere has resulted in the development of more programs that support minorities in STEM. We are forever grateful for the opportunity to encourage STEM involvement for the young scholars at Belvedere.

“Thank you for being an important part of our story.” —Anonymous

“The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life and make you see the sun where you once saw clouds. The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too. The people that love you, simply for being you. The once in a lifetime kind of people.” —Anonymous

“Thank you for touching my life in ways you never know. My riches do not lie in material wealth but in having connection to people like YOU.” —Anonymous

Dear Captain Lucinda Cunningham, thank you for supporting the STEM Impressionists by being a part of the 2018 Guest Speaker Series. Hearing about your journey of becoming the first African American selected as Captain of Coast guard was beyond inspirational, especially as we work towards pursuing our individual passions. Viewing your emblems and learning about the stories behind them was admirable, serving as a reminder that diligence can lead to rewarding successes.

Our conversations surrounding being a woman of color in STEM and uplifting those around us was discerning, creating valuable lessons that are sure to aid us in the future. Your commitment to your passions and support for other minorities does not go unnoticed; thank you for being an influential role model to SIP.

Dear Captain Stephanie Burrell,

Thank you for joining the STEM Impressionists for the 2018 SIP Guest Speaker Series. It was extremely thought-provoking to be introduced to the science, math, and technology behind dentistry, and learn about how different races can have a variety of responses to the same medications. Your insight on exceeding goals, and the importance of understanding self-worth allowed for an empowering conversation. You are a successful model of a woman in STEM that will resonate for us as we continue to mature and face the challenges you referenced as our life journey takes from high school to college to career.

Dear Kaitlyn Kuczer,

Thank you for sharing your experiences as a woman in STEM who went from being a pre-med student to becoming a manager that leads teams in the delivery of Digital Reality. Your advice on work-life balance, being open minded about healthcare, and preparing for the future by planning ahead was incredibly valuable. I am grateful to have connected with you and will keep your advice in mind as I walk the educational journey that will prepare to be a pediatrician! - Mera

Dear Mehar Bhasin,

Thank you for reaching out, making a LinkedIn connection, and inviting the STEM Impressionists to be presenters at the 2021 STEAM Bloom conference. Being an organization that supports diversity in STEM ourselves, it was wonderful to hear about all the STEM backgrounds and involvement from such a diverse group of speakers.

Not only did your event provided us with an educational experience, it even resulted in our making connections with other presenters! We understand the value of networking and look forward to collaborating with you again in the future.

Dear Jim Egenrieder,

The SIP team would like to thank you for your support of our organization. We appreciate that you extended the Think-a-bit lab’s resources to us so that we could work towards our mission of cultivating spaces for minorities in STEM. Additionally, SIP learned a tremendous amount while working with you and the rest of the BRIGHT-CS team during the week long camp. We were able to grow as student leaders, STEM educators, and role models through our internship roles for the camp.

The skills we learned at the Think-a-bit lab converged with our other STEM experiences and are the underpinnings of what we have used to create our self-styled STEM seminars for middle and high school girls. Your help has allowed us to give back to our school peers, created a multitude of resume line items that supported our ability to successfully apply for a variety of scholarships, and we know that we will continue to use our skills as we move forward into our college communities. You gave us opportunities that we are using to create a legacy that supports to inclusion of girls in STEM.

Dear Mr. Mark Charles,

As members of the STEM Impressionists Program, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to you for joining the SIP Guest Speaker series in 2018. Your presentation impacted each one of us as we were introduced to a new way of looking at discovering the roots of race, gender, and class-based discrimination in the United States. Learning about the truth behind the Doctrine of Discovery as well as insight on the Native American experience in America continues to inspire us all to dig deeper into our past than the history we are taught in school. We truly appreciate your support of SIP and we will carry the value you have given us to become and inspire changemakers in the movement towards equity and inclusion.

Dear Dr. Nonye Oldimeji,

The STEM Impressionists Program would like to thank you for your continued support of our organization. We truly value our long standing relationship that began when most of us were in middle school. You are a role model for us all, especially following your journey to earning a Ph.D. as a working woman. Additionally, we would like to thank you for sharing how your daughters were able to attend their dream schools and offering your wisdom on how we may be able to do the same. It is so important for Brown and Black students to see others that look like them reaching a level of success that wasn’t possible for our communities for a long time. SIP is incredibly grateful to have made a connection with you and learned that there is no limit for our success.

At SIP, we truly admire those who stand up and continue to give back to students. You are the epitome of giving back. You have helped more students at Glasgow middle school than we could count! Following your lead, we will continue to touch as many students as we possibly can. Our mission is to make a measurable difference, like you have, in the lives of underrepresented students. Your advice and support has been a vital part of our success. E se.

Dear Dr. Wei Sun,

Thank you so much for what you’ve done for the STEM Impressionists. We truly appreciate that you were always there to unlock the Think-a-bit lab for us during the early mornings. You consistently provided us with the miscellaneous tools that allowed us to make effective use of our meeting time. It was a joy when we got to meet your daughter! She is so lucky to have such an accomplished mother. We are glad that you, and your daughter, were part of our journey and wish both of you well in your future endeavors.

Dear Dr. Duane Kemp,

Thank you for allowing us, the members of SIP, to recognize our areas of improvement and how we can tackle them. The work that we do as intergenerational change-makers can be extremely difficult and would be even more difficult without your support. Your words have contributed to many of our learned soft skills including communication, collaboration, and leadership which are quintessential to our success.

As a diverse group, we each have a unique range of areas we hope to improve. Your many hours spent understanding who we are and how to support us greatly impacted our lives and those around us. As we embark on our journeys of growth and self-understanding we are grateful for your ongoing support.

Dr. Manna Hagos,

Thank you for sharing your journey into medicine as a first-generation immigrant at our 2022 Guest Speaker Series. You opened our eyes to the perseverance required to pursue the dream of becoming a doctor and vigilance it takes to ensure and expand treatment options to vulnerable patient populations.

As the members of SIP continue to explore our respective career fields, you will serve as a reminder of the importance and impact executing culturally competent decision-making has in the lives of real people. By walking us through your career journey we were entrusted with your honesty around the challenges of pursuing your passions and the importance of creating your own personal definition for work-life balance.

“You changed our life without even trying, and I don’t think we could ever tell you how much you mean to us.
We can’t imagine what things would be like if we hadn’t met you.” —Steve Maraboli

Thank you for making so many ordinary moments, extraordinary.” —Anonymous

“Thank you for touching my life in ways you never know. My riches do not lie in material wealth but in having connection to people like YOU.” —Anonymous

Dear Mr. Lee Jourdan,

The members of the STEM Impressionists Program would like to thank you for sharing your journey through the corporate world with us as a part of the 2022 SIP Guest Speaker Series. Your presentation offer our members a great insight into details of what it is like to be a member of an executive board. Your anecdotes and perspective on business, and leadership were deeply inspiring and motivating.

It was enlightening having this conversation on MLK Day, to commemorate the values of the great Martin Luther King Jr. It was intriguing, learning about your family’s history as well as your personal life. Your stories from the time you lived in Thailand were fascinating! Our members are excited to travel around the world and learn about different cultures and lifestyles as well.

Your vast array of experiences has taught us not to self-sabotage ourselves by underestimating our abilities. We should have confidence in our qualifications and hardwork. You have instilled confidence and excitement within us, as we, young students, prepare ourselves for our future endeavors.

I was looking for a ghostwriter for my story and your name kept coming up. I did my research and was impressed with the breadth and depth of your business. I envisioned my students in your shoes and found the image exciting. While our paths have not crossed with as much depth as I might have wanted I find your story, your determination, and your passion for transformation inspiration. I am glad that we had an opportunity to connect and hope that another moment will come sometime in the future. I am more than positive that I/our organization could learn a great deal from you. Thank you for following your dream and being an inspiration to others.

As a Family and Consumer Science just branching out into STEM your seminar, which I still remember, and to which I brought one student, started changing the way I supported middle school students in STEM. Years later I ran into you on LinkedIn and wanted to make sure that you knew how much you helped me, and I am sure many other women and girls, with your passion for STEM. It is inspiring to see how far both of us have come since we first met.

The passion of students can change the trajectory of an adult. When that adult is a teacher it changes the lives of every student they touch from that moment forward. I hope that our paths cross again. It would be wonderful to sit, chat, and reflect on how much has happened since our initial introduction.

I remember first meeting you. You were commanding yet approachable. I kept my distance…..and as time passed I realized what a treasure you were and was fortunate enough to call you a friend. You taught me all about the International Baccachloratte program and you did it so well that I ended up being my department’s IB leader. My students feed you food from the kitchen and you came over to borrow or wash your lunch box - we were neighbors for years. It was never the same after you retired. I missed you.

But before you left you wrote me up and I won my first best teacher of the year award. You are the only teacher in the celebration picture full of smiling kids sharing stories of STEM. I still like that photo.

We haven’t been in touch as of late but I still think of you and hope you see the impact of the support you gave me as a new teacher. The STEM awards the students in the STEM Impressionists won/win are grounded in relationships like the one I had with you: solid teaching skills based on core principles like IB and collaborations with teachers that help new teachers mature. You were a wonderful model for me Rae. I am forever grateful that our paths crossed and that you were so generous with your support. I am happy to see you enjoying the smells and giggles that come with grandchildren - you deserve every ounce of your happiness. Best wishes, always.

Dear Mr. Sandeep Sheokand,

You never know when opportunities will arise. The partnership between CodeTigers and the STEM Impressionists Program started with a chance meeting between the respective founders at an MIT Learning Creative Learning session. After speaking about wanting to support students in learning how to code with Scratch our respective organizations decided to work together on a project. SIP gained a lot out of the partnership that ensued and will forever appreciate the opportunity to collaborate.

The joint project with CodeTigers allowed SIP to reach a wide international audience. Together we supported thousands of students across the globe in learning how to code with Scratch, many of them girls, and behind the scenes the international mentor team learned 21st century skills, like producing a program using a LiveStream platform. The experience of webcast teaching has equipped each student mentee with the ability to improvise during a live presentation while simultaneously collaborating with a team member. Those skills will continue to benefit us as we move into college and career. Our partnership focused on our shared mission and turned our diverse skill sets into a spectacular 10-week Scratch course which every member of SIP is still very proud of in addition to the fact that the course is still online and continues to benefit interested learners. Our partnership created a legacy!

Despite being in different time zones, the student educators rehearsed their presentations together multiple times, forging great relationships, and added a lifetime of practical experience to their resumes. Not only did we share our cultures with each other, we were able to participate in a project that allowed us to turn the concept of being a Global citizen into its practical steps and challenges. As a result we gained time management, collaboration, teamwork, technology, and presentation skills. Thank you for being a part of our journey. We have valuable memories that will remain with us forever.

Dear Dr. Paul Cohen,

Thank you for supporting the Stem Impressionists Program (SIP) throughout the years. Not only have you been a speaker for our 2019 Guest Speaker Series you immediately agreed to provide an internship for a SIP member that has aspirations of becoming a dentist!

For years, your practice has supported aspiring dentists in developing their career skills while you simultaneously encouraged your staff to continue to develop their capabilities and work their “way up” with internal office promotions. SIP advocates for students as they pursue a STEM related career. For SIP’s intern that has meant hands-on experience at learning the practical attributes of what it takes to begin and then run a successful dental practice in addition to understanding the intricacies of what providing quality dental care really means. When shadowing at your practice, interns are offered a functional example of an office that actualizes diversity, equity, and inclusion. Your staff consists of individuals from a variety of different backgrounds, your patients receive just the right amount of needed time and attention, and your working environment so positive that most of its members have been working there for years.

You are a model for the type of collaboration that is created by constructing an enduring and mutually respectful work environment. Your office produces the kind of meaningful interpersonal connections that foster a level of business prosperity that is so successful that it has won dental awards and recognition for generations. SIP is proud to be associated with an organization that models that level of excellence.