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Empowering BIPOC Girls for STEM Careers

Photo: Courtesy of Techbridge Girls

Nikole Collins-Puri

CEO, Techbridge Girls

For 20 years, Techbridge Girls has been at the forefront of re-engineering STEM education so that BIPOC girls can live to their fullest potential without fear, discrimination, and self-doubt. 

As CEO of Techbridge Girls (TBG), I am fortunate to combine my passions for STEM, equity, and empowering girls into my everyday work. When you let girls thrive in STEM fields, not only do they create a better future for themselves, but they are creating a better world for us all.

Techbridge Girls exists because too many BIPOC girls are locked out of STEM. STEM education often focuses on rote learning, uses language centered on the white male experience, excludes the historical STEM contributions of BIPOC women, and does not adequately convey the potential of STEM to create a better world. TBG focuses on the historical and ongoing contributions of BIPOC women in the STEM field while creating a safe space for girls to learn about, engage in, and build excitement for a STEM career.

Techbridge Girls reengineers the way that STEM education is taught, experienced, and represented for BIPOC girls* who experience economic insecurity

The power of mentorship

In my personal journey, I learned the power of mentorship, having a sense of belonging, and believing that my experiences as a Black woman are a unique asset. I was taught these principles through my mother, my first true mentor. She would bring me along to networking events for Black professionals where they could share and learn.

Witnessing people lift one another through the interchange of ideas was empowering. Mastering technical skills while building social capital was a roadmap toward success. The community, the connected experiences, feeling valued and seen, while having the ability to fail and be vulnerable together was a sacred space. This is the experience and environment that we hope for for our girls as they pursue a STEM career.

A girl’s STEM journey is more than her technical knowledge. It is the collective power of her community, her understanding of how STEM can create change, and her champions that break down barriers and create space for her brilliance to thrive in this STEM revolution.

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