By Jade Kirkland
What does FOCUS mean to you?
I’ll let that sink in while I tell you what it means to me.
FOCUS to me is more than just a camp, more than just a summer job, more than meeting new faces and seeing old ones again and again every summer. FOCUS to me is:
- The chance to help shape the minds of the next generation of STEM Women
- The chance to show our girls that they are capable of doing ANYTHING that they set their minds to, no matter the level of difficulty
- The chance to show them that they are JUST AS GOOD as the boys
- The chance to show our girls that they are both Beauty AND Brains
- The chance to open their eyes to another side of life that they might not have known about before
- The chance to show them that they aren’t alone in this world
I have come back to work for the FOCUS camp for the last five years because I want to be able to show these girls that there are women who have been in their shoes before that are now studying or working in a STEM field. That it may seem impossible sometimes but nothing is ever impossible if you set your mind to it and stick with it. I have come back every year because of the girls and their enthusiasm, their knowledge, their personalities, their eagerness, but most of all, I have come back because they help me too. These girls every year, whether I met them the year before or they’re new to the camp, help push me to keep the same drive and enthusiasm I have for my field as when I first figured out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life in the ninth grade. They push me to never give up even when things seem too hard because they’re watching me, and because they’re watching me, I have to push through it. They have given me a yearly reminder that if I don’t want to push through, why would they? Being a counselor is so much more than just watching teenage girls and helping them in their various classes during the day. It’s about being a role model and showing these young ladies that WE ARE HERE, women in STEM are here, and WE ARE HERE TO STAY. I want to show these young ladies that they are strong, that they are beautiful inside and out, and most importantly that they are SMART. In today’s society, our girls’ spirits and confidence are being broken down so easily, and it’s up to us to put an end to that. FOCUS reminds me every day to STAND TALL and BE CONFIDENT because of all these reasons but most importantly because GIRLS RULE!
So now, tell me what FOCUS means to you!