The Youth Behind STEM·E
— Boston, MA
In high school and middle school, most students begin thinking about their future career. This means finding a passion. One effective way to determine a career path is through internships, where students can volunteer for job positions they want to explore. STEM⋅E has always seen this as critical, instituting their first formal Internship Program during the pandemic.
While this initiative was formalized mid-pandemic, Andria Balogh, STEM⋅E’s Founder and Executive Director, always saw STEM⋅E as run for students, by students, since "students know better than anyone else what students need." In fact, the pandemic presented a perfect opportunity for a formal internship program. While an internship prior to Covid-19 proved difficult, based on in-person training, marketing, and local sourcing, Balogh stated that “by opening up our internship internationally, we increase our impact while ensuring our pool of potential interns is sufficient to manage the program.”
This outreach is not just represented in Balogh’s words but also by the students taking part in the Internship Program. The program began in November 2020, and STEM⋅E had just 6 volunteers. Since then, the numbers have increased to about 30 students from around the country. Alexis Antonio (16, California), Kaashvi Singal (17, California), and Rachel Glantzberg (14, New Jersey), pictured respectively, spoke about how their internships impact youth in STEM. Antonio described her large share of responsibilities, where she runs the STEM⋅E twitter as a part of the Social Media Marketing Team, edits the monthly email newsletter, and is also an ambassador, spreading STEM⋅E’s influence by running a STEM⋅E school club. Singal, who is also an ambassador at her school, runs bimonthly meetings in collaboration with Balogh. She is a part of the YouTube+Podcast team, where she interviews professionals in the STEM field. Glantzberg, the Senior Blog Coordinator, is tasked with marketing and creating content for the blog, while considering a targeted goal for readers. The program offers many opportunities for the students, who are encouraged to not only take on these responsibilities but to also get creative with new ideas that they have for their teams.
With all of the roles filled by students, it is easy to imagine the feat of running and managing the Internship Program. Balogh emphasizes that communication is key to ensure a smooth-running program. “We are a team of teams, and communication within and between teams is absolutely crucial. Which also means schedules become challenging since we are a national team of teams.” Though all of these teams present a complicated schedule in different time zones, Balogh has developed a method to ensure that all interns are caught up and contributing. The teams meet weekly to biweekly and discuss all the goals to be accomplished in the interim. Students are encouraged to present new ideas and ask questions while learning valuable skills, such as how to cater to a target audience, SEO, and other tools for entrepreneurship.
When asked about her motivation to join STEM⋅E and future goals, Antonio shared, “I wanted to be part of an impactful organization as well as getting an internship. In 10 years, I see myself as a nurse practitioner and hopefully getting my masters degree in nursing by then.” Singal and Glantzberg show just as much zeal, expressing their goals of sharing a passion for STEM and gaining experience to pursue their future passions. For Singal, this includes getting a masters degree in nursing to become a nurse practitioner, and for Glantzberg, going to medical school with the goal of making more equitable global health conditions. Antonio offered these inspiring words- “for those who are in STEM or are entrepreneurs, keep doing what you’re doing and know that it’s okay to make mistakes. That’s part of the learning experience. The earlier you start learning about this career, the more successful you’ll be in the future.” These words, along with the girls’ enthusiastic goals, show just how impactful STEM⋅E’s program is for the inspiration of youth, whether as part of the program, or involved in the world of STEM.
To learn more about STEM⋅E's Internship Program and to fill out our Internship Interest Form, visit: https://www.steme.org/volunteer