Thank you so much for joining us for our 2023 Catalyst Awards Reception. We are thrilled to be back in person as we celebrate our community and two inspiring women! Your support is essential to our programs, and we are grateful you are joining us in transforming the face of STEM.
I am so proud to lead this impactful organization with the support of our Board of Directors and the incredible team at Science Club for Girls (SCFG). Our staff brings passion, ingenuity, and resilience to our programs. When we faced the challenges of the pandemic, it was their creativity and resolve that led to our Virtual Science Clubs and also brought us SCFGLive!, our popular online TV science show, our Summer Rocketry Program, and our Vacation Week Coding Club. With the development of these new methods of delivering our high-quality content during the pandemic, we uncovered a huge unmet need for options for families, especially in the virtual sphere. And, indeed, what was originally intended as a short-term response to the pandemic has become a powerful approach to reaching more girls and gender-expansive youth where they are and is now firmly embedded in our programming alongside our in-person clubs.
With a 29-year history of delivering engaging, hands-on community-based programs, we are at an inflection point in our trajectory as an organization. We have been driving continuous, year-over-year growth in the number of participants served, which is great news, but this has been accompanied by growth in our waitlist and requests from nearby communities to expand our geographic footprint. This underscores the high demand for our programming and the success of our model. With your help, we will continue our organization's growth and impact and position SCFG as an enduring leader in tackling the systemic inequities that plague the STEM ecosystem and our prioritized communities.
I truly feel optimistic about the future as I spend time with the girls and gender-expansive youth in our programs and hear their thoughts and approaches to real-world, STEM-based issues; as I hear from women who are emboldened from their time as mentors in our programs; and as I watch girls and women from kindergarten through retirement-age build lasting relationships through their shared love of discovery. We can look forward to amazing solutions to the globe’s problems in the future with so many diverse perspectives and experiences being brought into our STEM ecosystem. It’s just the beginning, and even though we’ve been on this journey for 29-years we still have so much more to do. I know, though, we’ll get there together, and our work at Science Club for Girls will have paved the way for a future that holds promise for everyone.
Bonnie Bertolaet, Ph.D. (she/her)
Executive Director, Science Club for Girls
Thank you to our 2023 Catalyst Sponsors!
Aurora Flight Sciences
Latham & Watkins
Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, Inc.
Queen Consulting Group