Creating STEM Role Models for Girls

Posted by: Miami Dade College College Forum,April 2015, Volume 19, Number 2

For her Commitment to Action, Claudia Gourdet has taken on an ambitious initiative that could have a lasting effect on the lives of young women in her native Haiti: providing STEM education for girls. She came to Miami at  age 9, and in high school took advantage of an Upward Bound Impact program, where she became passionate about math and science.

Studying computer science, Gourdet has already started one nonprofit while in high school, called Project Next Step. Her new nonprofit, STEM Access for Girls in Haiti, will work with young students there to empower them through STEM education.

“This is about ways to improve their lives and the community,” Gourdet said. “There is no STEM education like this in Haiti, and the girls there don’t have strong women as role models  like we do here.”

Gourdet wants to partner with MIT to obtain teaching materials and have them translated, and she already is working on funding proposals.

“I want these young women to be able to step out of the constraints of their culture.”