Kansas City Power and Light executives in Kansas City, Missouri, are making difference in the lives of middle and high school girls. KCP&L leaders are trying to interest more girls in STEM careers, so they created a game to help girls learn about possible STEM careers and how those careers could bring them professional and personal fulfillment.
On September 22, the group hosted Awesome Ambitions, a college and career readiness program for 8th through 12th grade girls from the Kansas City metro area. Cynthia Newsome is the founder and president of the group, which is sponsored in-part by the E.W. Scripps Company, parent company of 41 Action News. The students were invited to KCP&L Headquarters at 1200 Main Street in Kansas City.
Each student received an identity sheet, giving them their career title, description and salary. Engineer Sarah Whitman lead the girls through a series of steps to create a budget based on their salary. With their budget guidelines, the girls were able to shop for transportation, housing, food, clothing and entertainment. They did have to make sure they had money set-aside for savings.
Kelly Murphy, Sarah Whitman, Jammal Nelson, Maria Wilson, Monakisha Jones, Rita Barrett and Tiffany Wheeler were leaders in the activities and also talked with the girls about STEM careers.
“Very often it’s hard for young people to connect a career choice with how that will impact their lives professionally and personally,” said Whitman.
STEM careers had high-paying salaries; but the girls understood that money isn’t everything.
“I realized that I could choose a career that might not pay as much, but I can still manage to live in a nice place and drive a nice car, if I budget,” said Ja’mya, an Awesome Ambitions girl.
Some girls also learned how their interests and skills could be adapted for STEM careers they had not considered before the career game.