SAN DIEGO — The American Heart Association held a first-time event to inspire more than 50 local female students to consider careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Louise Brandy is in charge of technology at QuidelOrtho, a medical device company in Sorrento Valley. She says she puts the 'T' in STEM.
A source of determination behind her work comes from her late husband, Mycle. He had four strokes before he died of cardiovascular disease in 2019.
"We were married for 28 years. He died one day before our anniversary. He walked marathons and walked across the country to show survivors there is life after stroke," said Brandy.
Mycle's struggle with heart health is what drives Brandy to inspire young girls from Castle Park High School in the Sweetwater Union School District to land a career in STEM.
"The importance about STEM is we need more and more women in this industry. Over half of our jobs are filled by women, but less than 25% are in the STEM arena; that means we are way under sourced in these areas. Only 12 out of 100 are getting college degrees in STEM related fields. We are trying to close the gap here," said Brandy.
In a first-time “STEM Goes Red” event, Brandy along with the American Heart Association showed local high school students hands-on work with robotics, how to decompose a COVID-19 test, presentations, and more STEM related activities in hopes that one day, more girls will be eager to major in STEM related fields in college and eventually impact the world.
"Women don’t always know that they can. To meet other women who have done it and paved the way to say, 'hey, we will compete in a male dominated area.' We find it easier to do," said Brandy.
"STEM Goes Red” will become an annual event. They plan to have another event this fall where female students will have continued mentorship.
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