Tag Archives: Girls Inc.

Richland College and Girls Inc. Prepare Middle and High School Girls for College and S.T.E.A.M. Careers at 4th Annual Summer Camp
Young girls pose with a professor.

Girls Inc. campers pose with Richland College professor Dr. Sherry Dean on the Richland College campus. Photograph by Paul Knudsen.

For the fourth 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 the first segment of a four-week summer camp for girls in grades 8-12.

While the camp originally started for middle schoolers, it has 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 important parts of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) workforce of the future. Richland College hosted the first week June 5-9, during which the focus was on robotics each morning and art, dance and personal development each afternoon.

Upon completing their first week of camp at Richland College, the girls are being hosted by Imagine Science, followed by the University of North Texas at Dallas. The camp concludes at Cedar Valley College.

The camp is sponsored in part by High Tech High Heels, 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 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 Dance Program to Showcase Individual Empowerment in ‘True Colors’ Spring Dance Concert

The Richland College dance program will strive to empower individuals to discover their unique voices and imagine their possibilities during its spring dance concert, “True Colors,” at 7:30 p.m. April 1 and 2.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “True Colors” will involve both students and faculty in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

In keeping with the theme of empowerment, the April 1 performance will be dedicated to the girls of Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, many of whom will attend. Girls Inc. awakens the potential in girls and young women from low income neighborhoods and inspires them to make strong, smart and bold choices that positively contribute to our communities. This collaboration is made possible by Sawyer and Sherry Dean, Ph.D., former Girls Inc. board director and current Eureka! advisory council member, who is also a Richland College speech communication professor.

Dance faculty choreography and film work will include original pieces by Whitney Coleman, Shaté Edwards, Gina Sawyer and Lauren Schieffer. The program will also feature guest performers and choreographers Darryl Cleveland, Nicole Langi, the imPULSE Dance Project under the direction of Anastasia Waters and Rhythmic Souls under the direction of Katelyn Harris.

Cleveland is a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor with 20 years of experience in ballet, jazz and modern dance forms. His experience includes teaching at Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas, dancing with Toni Braxton and En Vogue, eight seasons with the Dallas Black Dance Theater and choreographing and starring in statewide Texas Lottery commercials.

Langi earned a B.A. in dance with an emphasis on ballet performance from Brigham Young University in 2012. Her professional credits include the Kinuko Modern Dance Company, Mountain West Ballet Company and the Utah Opera. She currently teaches ballet and tap at the Texas Ballet Theatre School in Dallas.

imPULSE dance project was founded in 2012 by Waters with the vision to open the mind, eyes and heart of the general public to the beauty of modern dance by integrating dance works into untraditional dance environments and spaces.

Rhythmic Souls, under the direction of Harris, is a small company of rhythm tap dancers known for their unique blend of style, charisma, innovative choreography and rapid-fire footwork. Rhythmic Souls strives to bring the spirit of tap dance back to the stage and continue the legacy of this American art form. Their cross-genre repertoire infuses rhythm dance with body percussion, sand dancing, contemporary movement, flamenco, swing dance and anything else that might lend itself to rhythmic persuasion.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“True Colors” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.


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.


Richland College Partners with Girls Inc. to Provide Middle School Girls a Glimpse Into College Life and Access to S.T.E.M. Programs and Careers
Girls huddled around a lab table.

Girls Inc. campers participate in lab activities at Richland College on their first day of camp Monday, June 22. Photograph by Paul Knudsen.

For the second year in a row, Richland College recently partnered with Girls Inc. of 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 middle school girls.

The camp, called “EUREKA!”, empowers campers to see themselves as an important part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workforce of the future. Richland College is hosting the first week, June 22-26, which focuses on “Water: Ubiquitous and Unique.” The girls are exploring various properties of Earth’s most important resource in the contexts of sustainability and ecology. The curriculum includes experiential learning activities in the sciences, 3-D art, learning strategies, college readiness and communications skills. Each afternoon, the girls also learn about the physics and fun behind the hula-hoop.

“The unique feature of this program is that we are intentionally nurturing a cohort of girls in STEM fields over a five-year period,” said Sherry Dean, Ph.D., Richland College professor of speech communication. “We will nurture them through high school graduation and help them secure successful higher education pathways in a STEM major. By the time these girls graduate, they will have both the knowledge and confidence to pursue a career in STEM.”

Upon completing their first week of camp at Richland College, the girls will go to the University of North Texas at Dallas, followed by the University of Texas at Dallas. The camp concludes at Cedar Valley College on July 24 with a closing ceremony featuring a rocket launch.

“The accumulation of learning and exposure to STEM over the course of four weeks could have a tremendous impact on a girl’s future,” said Girls Inc. of Dallas CEO Lori Palmer. “We hope to help girls become well equipped for the future by exposing them to diverse opportunities like careers in STEM and ongoing summer learning opportunities.”

The “EUREKA!” program is sponsored in part by SAP Labs, the TI Foundation, ExxonMobil and a $10,000 grant from State Farm that is specifically funding the first week of camp at Richland College.


First week of Girls Inc. camp at Richland gives girls inspiration, opportunities in STEAM fields

Girls to experience more learning, campus life at UT Dallas during second week

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Twenty middle school girls explored science, technology, mathematics, arts and engineering (STEAM) concepts and discovered the joy of learning this week at Richland College.

These Dallas-area 8th grade girls were selected to participate in Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp, a two-week learning experience designed by Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, Richland College and The University of Texas at Dallas – Science and Engineering Education Center (SEEC).

The first week of camp, held June 16-20 at Richland College, focused on “Water: Ubiquitous and Unique.” The girls learned about the various properties of Earth’s most important resource in the contexts of sustainability and ecology. The curriculum included experiential learning activities in the sciences as well as in 3-D art, learning strategies and college readiness skills. Each afternoon, the girls experienced the physics and fun behind the hula hoop.

Sherry Dean, Richland College speech communication professor and Girls Inc. board member, says the week was an amazing success.

“We saw the girls grow a lot,” Dr. Dean says. “It was a very intense learning community. This week sets the stage for thinking routines and helping the girls see connections. The girls created ePortfolios to showcase their experiences. They will be able to look back on this week and realize how they’ve become stronger, smarter and bolder.”

Dr. Dean said another important goal was achieved — introducing the girls to a pathway more and more students take to pursue higher education: the community college experience. Richland has some 20,000 credit students and offers Richland Collegiate High School (RCHS), a dual-credit charter high school.

“We planted important seeds for them,” she says. “The girls really enjoyed being on the campus and we introduced them to RCHS. They were excited to consider options. I believe we had a positive influence on their aspirational goals for higher education.”

Next week, June 22-27, the girls will experience campus life at UT Dallas, living in dorm suites, finding out what it takes to apply for college and participating in learning activities in bioengineering, nanotechnology, forensic science, robotics and space science.

At UT Dallas, the girls also will have the opportunity to connect with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals from the university and Dallas’ business community. Evenings will be filled with fun activities such as karaoke, Zumba and movies. The week culminates with a field trip to Texas Instruments.

Expanding the horizons of the young women selected to participate is a significant goal of the camp, says Lori Palmer, CEO of Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas.

“Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp will awaken the potential in middle school girls as they explore the life of a full-time college student and discover opportunities in STEM fields,” Ms. Palmer says. “We encourage girls to explore STEM fields because research demonstrates that women employed in STEM careers earn an average of 33 percent more than those employed in other fields.”

Bernine Khan, UT Dallas’ SEEC director, says UT Dallas is thrilled to host week two of the camp because while the university is distinguished for its strength in STEM education and research, females make up only about 43 percent of the student body.

“Females, in general, represent a hugely untapped resource of potential STEM professionals in our nation, and when compounded with low socio-economic and cultural issues, the pathway to a successful STEM career is stymied,” Dr. Khan says. “The program introduces these girls to the flavors of STEM careers through interactions with female STEM professionals. If the girls ultimately choose a non-STEM field, it will be an informed choice with the full knowledge that their intrinsic ability had no bearing on their decision.”

Learn more about Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas at www.girlsincdallas.org, Richland College at www.richlandcollege.edu and The University of Texas at Dallas at www.utdallas.edu.


Girls Inc. camp at Richland, UT Dallas to give girls inspiration, opportunities in STEM fields

This summer, Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas is giving middle school girls an amazing opportunity to explore science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) concepts and a pathway to higher education through a partnership with Richland College and The University of Texas at Dallas – Science and Engineering Education Center (SEEC).

The three organizations worked together to develop the Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp, a two-week learning experience for 20 Dallas-area girls entering 8th grade, to expand the horizons of the young women selected to participate.

“Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp will awaken the potential in middle school girls as they explore the life of a full-time college student and discover opportunities in STEM fields,” says Lori Palmer, CEO of Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas. “We encourage girls to explore STEM fields because research demonstrates that women employed in STEM careers earn an average of 33 percent more than those employed in other fields.”

Bernine Khan, UT Dallas’ SEEC director, says the camp is designed to help girls dream big. The University of Texas at Dallas is ascending the ranks, quickly becoming recognized as one of the top schools by the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. While the university is distinguished for its strength in STEM education and research, females make up only about 43 percent of the student body.

“Females, in general, represent a hugely untapped resource of potential STEM professionals in our nation, and when compounded with low socio-economic and cultural issues, the pathway to a successful STEM career is stymied,” Dr. Khan says. “The program introduces these girls to the flavors of STEM careers through interactions with female STEM professionals. If the girls ultimately choose a non-STEM field, it will be an informed choice with the full knowledge that their intrinsic ability had no bearing on their decision.”

The first week of the Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp, held June 16-20 at Richland College, will focus on “Water: Ubiquitous and Unique.” The girls will explore the various properties of Earth’s most important resource in the contexts of sustainability and ecology. The curriculum includes experiential learning activities in the sciences as well as in 3-D art, learning strategies and college readiness skills. Each afternoon, the girls will learn about the physics and fun behind the hula hoop.

Sherry Dean, Richland College speech communication professor and Girls Inc. board member, says Richland College administrators see the camp as an intentional effort to grow and nurture future female scientists and engineers while introducing the girls to a route more and more students take to pursue higher education – the community college experience. Richland has some 20,000 credit students and offers a dual-credit charter high school.

“Many people do not know that 42 percent of all first-time college freshman in 2013 were enrolled at two-year institutions such as Richland College,” Dr. Dean says. “We anticipate that many Girls Inc. girls will also make Richland an important part of their higher education experience.”

The second week of the Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp (June 22-27) will immerse girls in campus life at UT Dallas. The girls will live in university dorm suites, find out what it takes to apply for college and participate in learning activities in bioengineering, nanotechnology, forensic science, robotics and space science.

At UT Dallas, the girls also will have the opportunity to connect with STEM professionals from the university and Dallas’ business community. Evenings will be filled with fun activities such as karaoke, Zumba and movies. The week culminates with a field trip to Texas Instruments.

Learn more about Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas at www.girlsincdallas.org, Richland College at www.richlandcollege.edu and The University of Texas at Dallas at www.utdallas.edu.