Tag Archives: girls inc. of dallas

Richland College Works with Girls Inc. to Prepare Young Women for College and STEM Careers

For the sixth year in a row, Richland College partnered with Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, to host part of a four-week summer camp for young women focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. The girls were at Richland June 10-14.

“The girls are living proof that the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts,” said Simona Farcasiu, with the School of Engineering and Technology. “It takes a community to encourage girls to overcome challenges and pursue degrees and careers in STEM fields, and it was a great joy to watch the returning group of girls act as mentors to the rookies.”

This year, Richland College hosted two groups of girls – rookie eight graders and returning ninth graders. The returning group participated in biology/chemistry camp led by Libiya Shah and Becki Williams, where they learned about the water cycle and tested various water samples. The eighth graders participated in engineering/math camp, led by Simona Farcasiu and Praveena Dhayanithy, where they learned how math concepts are applied in engineering. Some applications included resistor color codes as applications of exponents and measuring sine waves as applications of trig.

In addition, both groups participated in a digital literacy camp led by Melinda Andrews, where they investigated their digital footprint and online safety. Also, the girls utilized their special reasoning skills when building lamps in art camp, led by Vicki Mayhan. Finally, both groups performed a beautiful dance routine symbolic of the Gestalt theory, “the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts,” led by Gina Sawyer.

Guests speakers during the camp included Martha Hogan, former executive dean for the School of Engineering and Technology, who spoke about the importance of education and addressed various pathways for achieving a degree and moving into a career in STEM. Sparsula Simmons, PMP, CSM manager at State Farm, led the girls into explorations of what it takes to be successful in a career and reminded the girls that they have the keys to success. Two Richland College police officers, Corporal Brooks and Officer Lopez, led a discussion with the girls about various issues. 

“Throughout the camp, the girls impressed us with their depth of thought, openness to new ideas and support for each other,” added Simona.

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas serves a diverse population of 1,000 girls, ages 6 to 18, in the Greater Dallas area. The organization focuses on the development of the whole girl through a combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment and research-based programming that equips girls to lead fulfilling and productive lives, break the cycle of poverty and become role models in their communities. For more information, visit https://girlsincdallas.org

Thanks to everyone who helped make this event another success!  


Richland College and Girls Inc. Prepare Middle and High School Girls for College and S.T.E.A.M. Careers at Annual Summer Camp
Campers standing in a group.

Girls Inc. campers pose in Sabine Hall on the Richland College campus. Photograph by Paul Knudsen.

For the third year in a row, Richland College is partnering with Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, to host the first portion of a four-week summer camp for girls in grades 8-12.

While the camp originally started for middle schoolers, it was expanded to allow girls the opportunity to return for up to five years to continue their educational journey and to encourage college and career awareness among young women.

The Girls Inc. “Eureka!” camp empowers campers to see themselves as an important part of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) workforce of the future. Richland College is hosting the first week, June 13-17, which focuses on “Chemistry: Properties of Water” each morning and “Art: Developing Spatial Reasoning through Geometric Nets” each afternoon. After collecting water samples from the lakes, water fountains and laboratories at Richland College, the girls are employing chemistry techniques to reveal unique qualities of water. In the afternoons, the girls are investigating various geometric nets and their forms through lecture and experimentation. After developing their unique nets, the girls will attach them together to create a non-representational sculpture focusing on design form, space and light.

“We are delighted to partner again with Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas and State Farm in Girls Inc. “Eureka!” at Richland College,” said Sherry Dean, Ph.D., Richland College professor of speech communication. “Two cohorts of 8th and 9th grade girls will participate in a fun and challenging week of STEAM activities at Richland. The girls will use math, chemistry and biology concepts to learn about the unique properties of water; they will code and create personalized webpages; they will learn to manage wisely personal digital spaces; they will contribute to an art installation related to the sex trafficking of minors in Dallas; and they will participate in Zumba and hip hop dance classes. Each of these activities aligns with the mission of Girls Inc. of Dallas to develop smart, strong and bold young women preparing for successful futures.”

Upon completing their first week of camp at Richland College, the girls will go to the University of Texas at Dallas, followed by the University of North Texas at Dallas. The camp concludes at Cedar Valley College.

The camp is sponsored in part by SAP Labs, ExxonMobil, Lockheed Martin, Program for Excellence and a grant from State Farm that is specifically funding the first week of camp at Richland College.


Richland College Earns Tech Titans Award Nomination for S.T.E.M. Summer Camp for Girls

The Metroplex Technology Business Council announced this morning that Richland College is a finalist for the Tech Titan of the Future University Level award for its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) summer camp for middle school girls. The camp is a partnership with Girls Inc. of Dallas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, and the University of Texas at Dallas.

The camp, called “EUREKA!”, empowers campers to see themselves as an important part of the STEM workforce of the future.

“We are delighted and grateful for this recognition from the Metroplex Technology Business Council,” said Sherry Dean, Ph.D., Richland College professor of speech communication. “In this unique partnership with Girls Inc. of Dallas and the University of Texas at Dallas, we are nurturing a cohort of eighth grade girls over a five-year period. We are growing their academic skills and empowering them to pursue STEM majors and future STEM careers. We believe this program will influence these young women for many years to come.”

The Tech Titans awards consist of 12 categories, with six to 10 nominations and up to four finalists in each category. The winners will be announced Aug. 21 at the Tech Titans Awards Gala at the Intercontinental Hotel in Addison, TX.

The Tech Titans Awards Gala, sponsored by AT&T, recognizes the most elite in North Texas technology – individuals currently transforming the high-tech industry and giving companies that competitive edge. The Tech Titans awards showcase the innovators, adopters and executors impacting the technology industry for the greater good.