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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 
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Black Tie International:
The Women's Foundation of Palm Beach County
 6th Annual Girls Leadership Institute


West Palm Beach, Florida, November 19, 2015– On Saturday, November 14th, 2015, the Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County hosted their 6th annual Girls Leadership Institute (GLI) with a focus on STEM at The Scripps Research Institute. Approximately 130 girls in sixth through tenth grades were selected out of over 300 nominated to participate in the program.

“Our future depends on how well we educate the next generation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics - and especially young women.” Said Laura Niedernhofer, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, The Scripps Research Institute. “If we truly want the world to be a better place, then we need to invest in STEM education to drive discoveries that improve our health, security and economy. And we need to include young women in every step of this fun discovery process.”

The day began with a STEM fair where participants met local women and men with a career in STEM. Afterwards the girls were split up into ten groups, each working with a mentor(s) on a specific project designed to give the girls a hands on approach to what it’s like to work on a STEM project. During one session, the girls built an arm prosthetics from household items under the tutelage of the School District of Palm Beach County, where they learned the importance of adapting their design. All of the community partners coordinated an amazing project for the girls to work on.

“The FAU team was honored to participate because of the importance of providing mentors excited to share their passion for science with the girls.” said Donna Chamely-Wiik, Ph.D.Associate Scientist, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at FAU. “You never know where a student’s curiosity will be peaked and who will inspire them to pursue a career in STEM.”

During lunch, the girls participated in a speed mentoring session where they were able to ask questions and engage in conversations with women in STEM fields. Another breakout session included the business and marketing aspects of STEM. Each group created a new product idea and generated a marketing plan describing how they would bring their product to market and build a customer base. The day concluded with each group presenting their products and marketing campaign to the entire group

Sponsors of the 2015 Girls Leadership Institute include:
The Scripps Research Institute, FPL, 4H, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, Lion Country Safari, NCBW 100, Keiser University, Palm Beach Code School, Florida Atlantic University, the School District of Palm Beach County, Bright Girls, Legal Graphicworks and Taz Bots.

If you would like more information about Girls Leadership Institute or The Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County, please contact Judith Selzer at 561-909-8415 or email at .

The Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County is a nonprofit that invests in women and girls to encourage leadership and positively affect their economic, political and social status.  For more information, please visit


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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