Why We Chose Jacqueline Means
“Some folks are just meant to be leaders. I technically haven’t met Jacqueline, but I had the pleasure of hearing her speak at the Junior League of Wilmington’s Women Leadership Summit back in February of 2018. Wow! At only 15 years old, she is known in the community for her efforts in bringing STEM to the underprivileged girls of Wilmington, inspiring girls to get actively involved in science, technology, engineering, and math. So well spoken and passionate, I am totally blown away by her. Speaker, event planner, chess player, volunteer, mentor and more. She makes me so proud to be a fellow Delawarean and a woman. She will continue to defy the stereotypes that limit our potentials.”
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you become interested in the STEM field
My name is Jacqueline Means, and I am 15-year-old girl who is making a positive impact in my community through my love of science, technology, engineering, and math.
I come from Southbridge Wilmington DE, a/k/a Murdertown USA; where shootings, and robberies are the norm; Where more than 60% of kids dropout of school, the city has one of the highest dropout rates in the country. I have defied these odds. I go to the Delaware Military Academy, where I maintain a 4.0 GPA and participate in multiple extracurriculars, including Business Professionals of America, Cheerleading, Track, and Model United Nations.
What change do you want to see in the world, and how are you aiding that cause?
I want to see more young girls involved with STEM! I started an initiative called Wilmington Urban STEM Initiative, an organization dedicated to getting young girls involved with STEM. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are subjects that still intimidate many young girls, and I hope to change that.
I have been hosting Girls Empowerment STEM Events on a regular basis throughout the past two years. At every event, each girl gets to do her own five science experiments, such as making slime, elephant toothpaste, and even dry-ice ice cream! The girls also get an inspiring talk from prominent women from their community, such as Congresswoman Lisa Blunt-Rochester.
Give a shout out to a woman or women who you consider to be your mentor(s)
What advice do you have for young people who still don't know what they want to do as a career choice?
What sort of challenges do women face in getting involved in the STEM industries?
Engineering and computer science account for more than 80% of the STEM workforce, and yet, in 2013, women comprised only 12% of working engineers and 26% of computing professionals. That’s just one example of women making up too small a part of the STEM workforce. I definitely believe that a major challenge women face is under-representation in the STEM industries, which is something I hope to help change through my Girls Empowerment STEM Events. Another challenge women face is that for too long, women have been told that they can only go into certain fields of work, and that other fields, such as STEM, were strictly for men. I feel that women are finally beginning to realize that they can break out of the expectations set by others, be they male or female, and forge their own way in whatever field they want to go into, be it STEM or any other.
How do you motivate yourself, and stay motivated?
I stay motivated by consistently reminding myself what goal I am reaching for. With my STEM Initiative, the goal is to positively impact as many young girls as possible. With school, the goal is to get the best grades I can so I can get into a great college and become a neurosurgeon. With everything do, I try to set a goal, so whenever I get frustrated or feel stuck, I can remind myself of exactly what I am trying to accomplish.
What are your goals for the future?
Stay tuned for the next glorious gal…
More 2018 Most Inspiring Women
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Every woman-centric event I’ve attended, Antoinette’s name was mentioned as a woman of influence. She is most known as an award-winning blogger (@DelawareBlogger to be precise) and social media guru. She has a weekly podcast and also teaches as an adjunct professor. Other accomplishments include Entrepreneur of the Year Award, featured in several publications like Delaware Today, Woman’s Day, Parade, The Delaware Business Times, and Technical.ly. The most impressive… she’s even on radio! Is there anything this gal can’t do?
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Sital impressed me with her eloquent yet authentic way of speaking to the room. You could tell that she knew her stuff. She not only could answer all of the audience’s questions, but she provided a level of insight that really just connected all the dots. When I saw her again at the Delaware Small Business Chamber, I recalled her striking presence and how she could command a room. Yet, she still retains a softness that makes her incredibly approachable. As breast cancer survivor and someone who heavily volunteers for the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce, Sital offers herself up as a resource to those who can benefit from her experiences. I am so looking forward to getting to know her better and seeing where she continues to go.”
[Jennie] is more than just a phenomenal photographer — she gets involved in the community. She actually lives her truth and does stuff. She is out and about, building her #bossbabe business and rockin’ it as both a beloved teacher and entrepreneur. We can learn a lot from Jennie’s incredible work ethic and passion for life. She doesn’t exist… she lives. Thank you, Jennie for showing us how it’s done!
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Lois is everywhere and everyone knows Lois; but, that’s not why I chose her. We became fast friends after we kept bumping into each other at various networking events. She is one of the most delightful people to be around — and most importantly, she laughs at all my jokes. She is an amazing and persistent entrepreneur. I see her social media posts everywhere from Linked in to Facebook. Her brand is always on point and consistent in everything she does. So dedicated and hardworking, Lois just doesn’t quit. And that’s why she deserves to be on my list. I find her compassionate and inspiring. Oh, and did I mention she is also a juggler? Yeah.
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