00:00 AM

EQT Foundation Supports INVESTING NOW Girls Programming with $15K Grant

PITTSBURGH (July 5, 2018) … For a third consecutive year, the EQT Foundation has awarded the Swanson School of Engineering’s INVESTING NOW Female Empowerment Mission (FEM) a $15,000 grant to help fuel an ongoing commitment to provide enhanced, specialized opportunities for female high school students. At the Swanson School, The FEM program will focus specifically on engaging students in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

"The EQT Foundation is proud to provide continuing support for the University of Pittsburgh's INVESTING NOW Female Empowerment Mission," said Charlene Petrelli, president of the EQT Foundation. "Supporting diverse education initiatives in the areas where we operate is a priority for EQT, and it is our hope that by participating in this program, these young women will work to create change and a continued understanding of the role women have in STEM careers."

“These funds will help us carry out programming designed to further inspire and encourage young women’s interest and participation in STEM fields,” added Alaine Allen, Director of the INVESTING NOW pre-college diversity program and the Pitt EXCEL undergraduate diversity program at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Three main objectives of the FEM program are to:

  • increase the number of female participants interested in pursuing STEM fields,
  • increase the number of female graduates choosing to major in STEM fields,
  • and increase the confidence and knowledge of the young women entering college to pursue STEM majors.

The EQT grant will help support monthly workshops led by female professionals, college students, and faculty in STEM fields. The workshops will include guest speakers who will share their knowledge and personal experiences and engage students in discussions and activities to help the students understand the significance of pursuing STEM majors and careers.

“The high school students will also have the opportunity to share their personal stories and pre-conceptions about STEM careers and other STEM-related experiences,” Allen added.

Allen and the Pitt INVESTING NOW team have a variety of other strategies planned that will benefit from the EQT funding and help achieve the FEM program objectives. They include:

  • field trips designed to expose the students to STEM fields and provide more opportunities for the students to interact with professional STEM women;
  • visits to colleges and universities to learn more about their respective STEM programs and enrollment requirements and to speak with faculty and students in these programs;
  • attendance at regional or national diversity conferences to allow participants to network with female professionals who serve as role models in STEM fields;
  • and two special outreach projects that will enable college students to provide mentoring and STEM exposure to girls in the Pittsburgh area. 

“For the outreach projects, we will connect with a local school districts or community-based organizations to identify opportunities to bring INVESTING NOW FEM participants to young girls in the community who would most benefit from their mentorship,” explained Allen.

Created in 1988, INVESTING NOW is a college preparatory program created to stimulate, support, and recognize the high academic performance of pre-college students from groups that are historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors and careers. The purpose of the program is to ensure that participants are well prepared for matriculation at the University of Pittsburgh. 


Author: Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Contact: Paul Kovach