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Former Mentor Hosts Virtual Q&A on "Being a Scientist"

This month we're thankful for former mentor Olivia Meyerson—a PhD student studying genetics and evolutionary biology at Harvard University—who recently volunteered to help plan and host a virtual Q&A session between Junior Mentors and Mentors on "Being a Scientist." On the April 4th Zoom call, Mentors and Junior Mentors came together to check in on each other and discuss planning for the future as an aspiring scientist. Mentors—from an array of STEM fields—shared their experiences and advice, and all participants voiced their need for community and resources during this time. It was a great reminder of how amazing our SCFG community is, especially during tough times! Thank you, Olivia, for hosting this call and for all you do to support young scientists and build a supportive community. Read below to learn more about Olivia and her involvement with SCFG!

When and how did you first become involved with Science Club for Girls? I first became involved with SCFG in the fall of 2018, when I served as a mentor at the King Open School. I had been looking for volunteering opportunities for women in science, and came across Science Club for Girls. I was so excited to hear about SCFG, and I was really inspired by the club's mission. What is one of your favorite memories or experiences with SCFG? One of my favorite memories was one of the games we played in the Computer Science Unplugged curriculum. It was really memorable seeing the students pick up on the rules of the game, and then watching them have so much fun playing the hands-on "coding" game that they were unable to stop playing when pick-up time rolled around. Their curiosity and enthusiasm was contagious! Mentoring with SCFG was a wonderful experience for me, and I hope to be able to do another semester soon.

In your opinion, what is special about SCFG? I believe that SCFG is playing a really important and unique role in combating inequalities in STEM. I think that the way SCFG instills confidence and scientific curiosity in girls from a young age is such a powerful approach to promoting women in science. With the hands-on learning and discovery, SCFG is not only fostering engagement and excitement about science, but also helping girls realize that they are scientists! What inspired you to offer to host the recent Zoom Call? I had been interested in engaging with and providing mentorship to junior mentors for a while; when the shutdown occurred, it dawned on me that this might be a great time to start a series of workshops for the junior mentors with participation through Zoom. I am so excited that we were able to kick off the series with a workshop "On being a scientist", where junior mentors discussed with mentors the ins and outs of different scientific career paths. I'm already looking forward to next session!

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