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Expanding Your Horizons

In: Social Issues

Submitted By ducon87
Words 872
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Upon searching for a non-profit organization to write my research paper on, I was over whelmed because there are numerous amounts of organizations throughout the country that assist people and communities with different services. My first priority was to stay far from excessively popular large organizations and bring to light a less popular one. I looked up the meaning and functions of ‘non-profit organization’ which is defined as “an incorporated organization which exists for educational or charitable reasons, and from which its shareholders or trustees do not benefit financially.” After carefully considering many exemplary organizations, and knowing of what exactly a non-profit organization is, and how the said organization should operate I selected the Expand Your Horizons non-profit organization.
The Organization began in 1974, as a Math and Science Network with an informal group made up of women scientists, and educators, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The concerned with the low female participation in math and science courses initiated them to plan and coordinate programs to strengthen girls in these topics. A two year grant from the Carnegie Corporation in 1978 was awarded to the small Network to help establish it as a formal organization and soon the organization operated at the Mills College campus in Oakland, California. The mission of this organization is to “encourage young teenage girls in middle and high school to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Careers.” With a fun hands-on activities approach and STEM role models to guide the girls, the goal of this Network is to motivate girls into becoming “innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st Century challenges.”
Serving females only, this organization has not only expanded from its main office in California, to almost the entire United States but also Europe and Asia. Full day conferences are held in different college campuses throughout the country. Girls attending get to experience college life and partake in the engaging activities designed to encourage continued learning and associate with positive people. Through these important hands-on workshops, young women learn that studying math and science can be fun. They participate in fun experiments and learn about the importance of studying as much math as possible in high school. During the conferences professional Women that work in STEM fields share inspirational speeches and stories about their personal lives to help motivate the attendees and provided accurate information about such fields. These women work in a wide variety of careers such as
• Astronauts
• Veterinarians’
• Marine Biologist
• Architect
• Engineers
By using local volunteers to lead workshops, girls meet with mathematicians, engineers and scientists who live and work in their own communities, who serve as role models at the conference, and who may serve as possible mentors in the future. When girls participate in these educational activities they can pass on the information to their peers in school and in the neighborhood. By providing such a stepping stone girls will be able to make wise choices in their personal and educational lives. These programs are designed to build self-esteem and create Leaders for the future in the local communities. Expand your Horizons encourages these young women to Dream big and to conquer their fears
From the beginning of the Expand Your Horizons organization, their financial support comes from membership dues and donations and grants from corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Many conferences are sponsored by the American Association of University Women. Other kinds of donations may include: printing, paper supplies, getting a site for free, and getting food donated. Prominent Magazines such as Forbes and Entrepreneur have praised the work of this organization in their magazines and frequently make donations.
In 1976 the first Expand Your Horizon conference, took place at Mills College. Over the years the number of conferences have increased and spread throughout the country. There have been over 90 conferences a year for the past fifteen years. Throughout the forty-seven year history, the Math/Science Network has collected evaluations from hundreds of sites throughout the United States. This evaluative information indicates that the Expand Your Horizon conferences are reaching their goals.
The Network conducted surveys to measure the impact of the conferences on young women before and after the events. The growth in interest of STEM subjects by the attendees was surveyed at 6 Expand Your Horizons conferences, in the San Francisco Bay Area on the day of the conference as well as six months later. Students were asked a variety of questions about the conference such as:
• How do you rate the conference?
• Did the conferences influence your plans to take more maths?
• Did you initiate any career-related activities during the 6-month period following the conference? Nearly 80% of the young women gave the conference an overall rating of great or good. On the day of the conference 10th and 11th graders significantly reported an increase in the number of non-required math courses they planned to take. The follow-up survey revealed that the students took even more math than they previously planned and had also explored additional information about non-traditional math and science careers. The evaluators concluded that the Expand Your Horizon conferences were an effective and low cost intervention.…...

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