The Looking Glass – KY has made history again, but in a good way

McKenna Means

The latest national news on Kentucky has a positive spin, finally. At Mercy Academy in Louisville, Ky the first all girls Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics or STEM program is beginning for high school girls interested in coding, engineering, design and robotics.

It’s strange to think about the fact that this is the first and still the only female program for these industries in the US. Especially when you contrast it to the many schools that focus on male programs in the same industries. Erin Miller, a graduate of Mercy Academy in Louisville who finished her high school career there in 2012, felt the environment there was positive.

“I always felt as though the instructors ensured that we see women as very strong and independent people,” Miller said. “They put a lot of emphasis on being accountable for yourself, and making sure our education came first instead of relationships and social pressures.”

The school also does their best to ensure tuition costs can be funded for lower income families in the surrounding areas by holding quarterly fundraisers, donations from alumni toward a scholarship program and a work-study program for students who can’t afford tuition.

Miller has continued on after her education as a forefront in creating equality on campus. She has directed the Vagina Monologues, a feminist play focusing on the sexuality and misrepresentation of women as well as working in the Gender and Women’s Studies Office as an undergraduate assistant. This all being just further proof of what graduates of Mercy Academy go on to accomplish in making a way for women and equal opportunities.

Women make up only a mere 19.2 percent of the engineering and computer science field today according to the NSF, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2015 census completed last year. Why is that?

Many seem to think that the answer to this is simply because it hasn’t been offered, and that these professions for so long didn’t allow women to participate that many of us didn’t even know it was an option, and until now it hasn’t been.

If you’ve ever wondered what women might be like without the societal stigmas and pressures, Mercy Academy is a great example. Just think about what the future might look like when these women graduate and go on to return the favor.