Back to the Bahamas Part 1

Back to the Bahamas: Part 1

Port: Miami, Florida to Nassau Bahamas and Paradise Island (boat trip)

Repost from Perfect Chaos 

In August, I went back to the Bahamas with my mother again. We also brought along a bunch of first timers: my kids, annoying sisters, nieces, nephew, and great-niece. 9 people total and I will never do this again.(Note: I was working on the multimedia part of my thesis, while in the car, and finished up as soon as I got on the boat. $25 dollars of cruise credit to get my project turned in on time. I had limited internet from Louisiana to Florida. I was revising text and creating audio transcripts of the videos, on top of dealing with annoying relatives.)

My plan was to go on a 4-day trip to Mexico, Honduras, and Belize from Galveston. Get a past guest discount for my mother and myself, plus a Texas resident discount. The trip was reasonably priced-4 islands, 4 days.

The drive to Galveston is not that far either, but that was not good enough for some of my heathen family. Some of my relatives don’t like Hispanics, especially Mexicans. They refused to spend 24 hours in Mexico, so after some cussing and discussion, we decided to go to Miami to the Bahamas.

I already knew this trip would not be fun. At first, I had 3 people in my room and my mother had five. My other sister was supposed to go to Africa this summer. Then, she decided to bring my nephew. My mother removed my nephew from the cruise.

Now we have my kids and myself in my room and the rest in the other room. 3 doors down from each other.

Fast forward, sister and nephew decide not to go to Africa and want to be added back. My mother still has a five person room-so nephew went to her room. My room already paid for and I had to relocate my room wayyyyy down the hallway for a 4 person, 4 bed room, when all I need is 2 beds. One for me and Kalen and one for Brad.

I also had to chip in monies for my sister’s fare because my mother did not have enough. She also got part of my cruise credits, I been earning. Whoopee. Over 100 dollars and I have to share when my room was fully paid for months in advance.

Sister planned on crashing in one of the beds in my mother room. 5 beds. Niece and Great niece in same bed; nephew; other annoying sister; and mother, in other 4 beds.

I kept bumping my head into that darn upper bed. I kept the big bed for myself and let Brad climb up. I wanted a no pee zone.

By the first day, the sisters had a fight and the younger sister got a new room, which is what she should have done in the first place with her son. She wanted her cruise credit transferred to her new room. Problem was she only earned $10 dollars after she was added to my room and she was upset. Love Carnival. Leave my credits alone.

The rest of the trip on the boat, was special needs hell.

I couldn’t get my kids to stay in Camp Carnival. I ended up with 2 hours free without my kids over 3 days. When they did go, all they did was sleep Went to Super Star Karaoke and Karaoke. Didn’t attempt to sing because I kept staring at the Camp’s phone.

Brad peed in the bed. Instead of just changing the sheets or the mattresses, the steward cleaned the carpet (which needed cleaning due to Brownies and Cake), and put a carpet smeller puller outer in the room. I went back to my room later and saw that noisy device, when my kids needed to sleep. Turned it off. Then I got a knock on the door from the assistant housekeeping woman saying if my kids make a mess in the bed, take them to medical. Told her, I have two SPED kids, who wet the bed, and accidents do happen. She didn’t not understand at all and I didn’t care. One kid was sleepy and needed his medication.

Brad had a major meltdown after Kalen went to Camp Carnival for the first time. Took over an hour to calm him down. It was time to give him his meds anyway plus Mr.. Melatonin. We was heading to formal dinner and by the time, I got him calm and went back to Windsong, the line was longer. We got a pager saying it will be a 30 minute wait, but as soon as we walked away, the pager went off. By the time, the food arrived, the pager went off and I had to go get Kalen. Youngest sister sat with Brad, while I ran to the Verandah deck (11 from deck 8).

Kalen refused to walk in the Bahamas. His feet broke out a few weeks ago. I forgot to bring socks. After going to multiple stores, looking for socks, I learned most of them don’t accept credit cards. I finally had to go to an ATM (Thank you Blogher for the payment a few days before) to get some Bahamian money to buy the boy some socks, and he still did not want to walk.

We took a water ferry to Paradise Island to see Atlantis. Took some convincing to get Brad on the boat. The tour guide let Brad sit up front with the captain.

While we was in Louisiana, we stopped at a gas station/McDonalds station to eat and go potty. I took Brad to change his diaper and pants. On the way out, we passed through the gas station part because I didn’t have McDonalds money. He wanted some M &Ms. He took some M& Ms and walked out the door. The cashier stopped him and I gave them back. He got angry and pushed the main door so hard, it fell off the hinges.

I had a major panic attack on the last day of the cruise. I packed up all the non-essentials and set it outside the room. I packed the kids bags with their diapers, wipes, and extra clothes; cleaned out my purse for extra room, if I needed it; and re-organized the bag of chargers. I had 5 bags: my purse, Kalen bag, Brad bag, the laptop, and bag of chargers for the devices.

Simple enough. I carry three bags. Brad carries his bag and Kalen carries his bag. EXCEPT Kalen did not want to walk and moved extra slow. I had to carry his bag so he would move faster and he did not.

We walked one way to head to the Sapphire Lounge for Faster to the Fun people, but it was blocked off. Walked another way and the police was having a situation with a woman. I couldn’t move anymore. My cycle on. I got 4 bags in one arm. I am sweating, hurting, and struggling with Kalen. I sat there until the police moved.

Finally got to Sapphire, sat down, and it was time to move again. Can’t find my phone. Went back in. Kids acting up again. I broke down crying. Couldn’t take it anymore.

Asked for help multiple times since I have SPED kids. Finally someone told me I can get a wheelchair and I could carry Kalen in my lap. I was eventually wheeled down to customs, while Brad walked and someone held Kalen’s hand. I just wanted off the boat and in my bed at home. I wanted to be left alone. Of course that was not the case..

To be continued…………..

(Working on Karaoke video; Life on the ship video; and boat trip video)

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Brian Apollo

Factors, which influenced Brian Apollo to choose virginity until marriage

In Factors, which influence African-Americans to choose Celibacy until Marriage (multimedia project), I discussed two factors, which encouraged celibacy: avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases and religion/spirituality.

Brian Apollo, a 37-year-old school psychologist, youth minister, and author, has chosen virginity until marriage for many reasons: to strengthen his relationship with God; and to prevent transmission of a sexually transmitted disease.

Apollo’s brother died of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) when Apollo was 13 years old.

Strengthening a Relationship with God

In an earlier interview on Celibacy Diaries, Apollo discussed how his parents instilled strong, Christian roots in him. His parents also taught him how sex belongs within the confines of marriage.

Apollo also has worked as an ordained deacon since he was 23 years old. He also works as a youth minister at Ruach Covenant Church International, where he teaches abstinence until marriage.

Apollo said developing a relationship with God helps avoid the “distractions of sex”.

He also discussed the three driving forces in someone’s life:

  • The drive to eat
  • The drive to live
  • The drive for sex

Next, Apollo said , in the Christian walk, people must control the three drives. You can control eating by fasting. You can control life by turning the other cheek to “focus on other people, not just yourself.” You can control sex by choosing celibacy or marriage.

Apollo also said celibacy helps maintain discipline. Celibacy also helps increase focus on studying the Bible when someone can not control temptations. “Sex is a temptation and obstacle, but not impossible (to control).”

Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

In 1990, Apollo’s brother died of AIDS. Tim was 18 years old. Apollo watched his brother’s health deteriorate in front of his eyes.

When he caught AIDS/HIV, the entire family was heartbroken. He changed his lifestyle from being lively and being social to drugs and alcohol. With him using drugs and alcohol, his infection intensified and he passed rather quickly.”

Dating while going without Sex

Choosing virginity until marriage has not hindered Apollo from dating. Apollo’s future wife must identify with the Christian faith. She also has to develop a friendship with him first.

Apollo also provided suggestions on dating, while going without sex. First, an individual must pray and avoid situations where temptation can hinder progress.

Second, Apollo recommends dating in groups and avoiding locations, which can compromise celibacy.

Finally, Apollo recommends communicating expectations at the beginning of each relationship. If someone’s values does not align with your expectations, end the relationship.

As you get older, it’s easier to do because you’re used to making those choices. It takes practice, but trust me, it works.”

Brian Apollo’s Previous Interviews

Celibacy Diaries

Capstone Overview and Brian Apollo Profile

Profile Piece on YouTube

Social Media:

Facebook Fan Page

Lulu Author Spotlight

Amazon Author Page

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Software Engineer and Retired Navy Vet needs funding for a mobile app, Momensity, to allow people to connect in new ways.

Jermon Green. Photo used with permission from Jermon Gree.
Jermon Green. Photo used with permission from Jermon Green.

Jermon Green, 35 years old of Virginia , software engineer and retired Navy veteran, created an app called Momensity, three years ago, to allow people to professionally connect with others.

Educational Background

Green has retired from the United States Navy, where he worked as an electronics technician. Green also self-taught himself software and website design. Some websites he designed included:

Idea Conception for Momensity

Green thought of the idea during church in Virginia. The pastor can match tasks needed with skilled people.  Green said the pastor could decide most likely volunteer, in addition to determining how has resources to make ideas successful.

What is Momensity?

Momensity App. Photo used with permission from Jermon Green.
Momensity App. Photo used with permission from Jermon Green.

In the app, Green said members could find new connections quickly. Momensity members can enter skills on exchange cards. Each member will also have a store promote their products and services, such as “Avon, Girl Scout cookies, Yard sale items, and yard work.”

Members could also make in-app purchases.

Other features include community requests and community centers. First, a community request allows members to create personal and business requests.

Next, a community center allows people to manage members, in addition to crowdsourcing.

Momensity will use MOCODE to share the app between phones.

The app will have availability on Blackberry, Windows, iOS , and Android devices.

Momensity Testing

Momensity, originally called “Let the people move you” and “Favor exchange” tested 10, 000 people.

From the data collected, Green decided to not use the words “help” or “community”. The app also underwent 10 design changes. Green also changed user flow; name and button placement; and registration.

 

 

The app moved from social to business. Green also discovered Momensity has applications in bars and speed dating.

Contests

To generate publicity, Green has entered Momensity into five contests:

Green also has brand ambassadors to promote the app to random people. The demonstrations should take 5 to 10 seconds depending on Wi-Fi connections.

The Future of Momensity

First, Green wants to create the Momensity Awards. He also wants to develop a road show, demonstrating how Momensity could replace business cards, at workshops, conferences, trade shows, and expositions.

Next, Green wants to create a Momensity Foundation, a non-profit organization. The foundation will award Unsung Heroes a $5000 grant, in addition to 25 smaller awards. The participants will display excellence and achievement through adversity. 

Momensity Kickstarter Campaign

Green started a Kickstarter to raise $25000 for beta testing, marketing, and Android development. Momensity has the iPhone version ready. Once fully developed, people can download the app for free on Google Play and iTunes.

To donate, please click the Kickstarter link above.

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Martial Arts developed for disabled persons, developed by Paul Brailer, needs funding.

Paul Brailer, located in Ohio, started Criptaedo, a style of self-defense, two years ago, to help disabled people defend themselves. Brailer needs funding for a 501(c)3 and equipment for students.

 

Motivation:

First, Brailer has a diagnosis of Spina Bifida. Next, Brailer had friends pass away from living an inactive and unhealthy lifestyle.  Brailer also had two friends, who were mugged and could not defend themselves.

Brailer studied at the Art of Karate in Barberton, Ohio. Brailer wanted to educate the disabled community on self-defense, in addition to healthy living.  He also wants to build dojos nationwide and worldwide. Brailer has helped individuals with cerebral palsy and paraplegics.

The Barberton Adult Day Center holds Criptaedo classes on Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Brailer offers the classes to teenagers and adults, depending on disability and ability. Participants need to have upper body strength and upper body control (arms and hands) for striking and blocking.

Funding Needed

Criptaedo needs $5000 for equipment. Criptaedo also wants to become a 501(c)3 organization. For more information, click on the social media links below. You also can donate via GoFundMe

Storify:

Paul Brailer, president and creator of Criptaedo, needs funding for a 501(c)3, in addition to equipment. Criptaedo provides fitness and self-defense to individuals with disabilities.

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Repealing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

The controversy over bathroom choice started a movement to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, in addition to recalling Mayor Annise Parker and other members of the City Council.

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt

What is the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance?

On May 28, 2014, The City of Houston passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) with a vote of 11 to 6. The ordinance wants to prevent discrimination in the following areas:

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Full Sail University
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Full Sail University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HERO protects 15 classes of individuals with additional protections for sexual orientation and sexual identity. The ordinance also classified transvestites as a minority class.

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt

 

 

The Controversy over Bathroom of Choice

The ordinance gained controversy concerning bathroom, locker room, shower, and dressing room in businesses. Transgender women may use their bathroom of choice, regardless of biological gender. If an individual also identifies with a specific gender, he or she can use their bathroom of choice without dressing as their gender of choice.

The ordinance originally applied to businesses with 50 or more employees, but the city amended HERO to businesses with 15 or more employees.

On May 16, 2014, the amendment removed protections from bathroom of choice.

Businesses, who refuse to allow a transgender woman to use the female bathrooms, could face prosecution. Businesses also may face fines for refusal to conduct business or refusal to hire transgendered individuals. Transgendered individuals may also file a complaint if a business discriminates against them for using bathroom of choice.

The City of Houston exempts religious organizations, private clubs, and private organizations, from the ordinance.

Repealing the Ordinance

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Full Sail University.
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Full Sail University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On July 3, 2014, a group of pastors and ministers delivered a petition to City Hall with 50,000 signatures to repeal the ordinance. Residents also may vote on the referendum in November’s election.. Opponents of the ordinance have also considered recalling Mayor Annise Parker and members of The City Council.

The next step requires verification of the petition. To place the referendum on the ballot, the petition needed a minimum of 17,000 verified signatures

What can you do?

Residents of Houston can follow the story in the newspaper, online, and on social media. Residents are also encouraged to vote in the November election, provided the City places the referendum on the ballot.

You can also read a copy of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance here

Leave a comment to voice your opinions about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

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Refining the Capstone Survey

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Full Sail University
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Full Sail University

Over the past few weeks, the content has focused on the capstone project. On June 9th, 2014, the article discussed three factors, which influence people to choose celibacy.

  • Religion/Morality
  • Avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Avoidance of pregnancy.

 

 

 

Next, the article discussed challenging the definition of celibacy. Celibacy is often interchanged with abstinence. Other related terms include: chastity, purity, and virginity. Third, the article discussed how Houston has had an increase in search volume in celibacy and abstinence, in addition to the following:

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Auto Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea

Houston also ranked 9th in the United States for HIV diagnosis, according to Pitman. Finally, the article used Storify to discuss celibacy, abstinence, and the factors, which influence celibacy.

Brian Apollo Audio Interview

Brian Apollo
Photo taken with permission from Brian Apollo

On June 15th, 2014, Brian Apollo, 37 years old, discussed in an audio interview about why he chose virginity (abstinence) until marriage. First, Apollo’s older brother died of AIDS. Apollo also wants to remain faithful to God. Apollo also agreed for an interview as a subject matter expert for the capstone project.

Celibacy Survey

On June 22nd, 2014, a survey, created on PollDaddy, determined factors, which helps people choose celibacy. The survey also asked about the differences between celibacy and abstinence. The results will help refine the capstone topic.

The Results

Brian Apollo Video

The video profile of Brian Apollo generated no relevant responses to help refine the capstone project.

Capstone Survey

The survey had few responses but the data can help refine the project. A video with narration discussing the results, in addition to possible modifications to the capstone is provided below.

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Capstone Project Celibacy Survey

The topic for the capstone focuses on factors, which influence African-Americans to choose celibacy. The factors include avoidance of pregnancy; avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases; and religion/morality.

For the project, using Polldaddy, Stacie Wyatt created a survey to gather information about perception about celibacy and abstinence. The survey has multiple choice questions, yes/no questions, and essay questions.

Need to know Terms

Informed Consent

According to Ethics in Research, informed consent occurs when researchers notify participants of a study’s risk and procedures. Individuals will also give consent to starting the study.

Confidentiality and Anonymity

According to Ethics in Research, confidentiality occurs when researchers do not share participant’s identifying information with anyone, not associated with the study. On the other hand, Anonymity occurs when participant’s identifying information is not shared to anyone, including the researchers.

Voluntary Participation

According to Ethics in Research, voluntary participation defined means people should take part in a study because they want to without coercion or manipulation.

The Celibacy Survey

First, the survey focuses on demographics (gender, age, city, state, and race). The survey also focuses on celibacy (sexual status and factors, which contribute to celibacy). The survey also has an essay question, which focuses on the differences between celibacy and abstinence. Next, the survey has another essay question, which focuses on encouragement of people, who chose celibacy. Finally, the survey has a  follow-up question, in addition to contact information (e-mail address).

The survey should take less than five minutes to complete.

The results of the survey will help refine the capstone topic. Wyatt will discuss the final results next week.

If you have any questions or comments, please send me a message on the Facebook Fan page or e-mail me at wyattstacie@gmail.com. You also can submit comments on Twitter using #celibacypoll or through Google Plus

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@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Full Sail University

 

Capstone Overview and Brian Apollo Profile

In the past few months, the search volume for celibacy has increased. The search volume for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); autoimmune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea also has increased for the City of Houston, Texas.

In the past week, according to Google Trends, searches for celibacy has increase 79%. Searches for Chlamydia also have increased 17% within the past week.

Google Trends: Google Searches for Celibacy within the Past Week
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Full Sail University
Google Trends: Google Searches for Chlymdia within the past week
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Full Sail University

Research

In 2013, Pitman discussed how in the United States, Houston ranked 9th in HIV diagnosis. Next, The The 2013 Houston Area Integrated Epidemiologic Profile   for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Services Planningalso discussed how African-Americans have the highest incidences of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea in Houston.

Between 2009 to 2011, The Houston Eligible Metropolitan Area (EMA) had 2,793 people diagnosed with AIDS.

The Houston Eligible Metropolitan Area contains areas, which has over 500,000 residents, as well as over 2,000 reported AIDS cases.

In 2011, African-Americans had 50.5% of new HIV cases. The EMA had 1, 334 new HIV cases while Houston/Harris County had 1235 new HIV cases.

 

 

Finally the report said Houston/Harris County has higher incidences of new diagnoses, prevalence, and deaths compared to the Texas.

Three factors, which influence a celibate lifestyle

The capstone project will focus on three factors, which encourage people to choose or maintain a celibate lifestyle. The factors include avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases or infections; avoidance of pregnancy; and religion/morality.

Brian Apollo

Brian Apollo
Photo taken with permission from Brian Apollo

 

One of the first people considered for the capstone project was Brian Apollo.

Apollo, 37 years old,  was previously interviewed for Celibacy Diaries, where he discussed his reasons for choosing virginity until marriage.

Apollo also works an ordained deacon since his early 20s (23 years old), in addition to a working as a youth minister for Ruach Covenant Church International. He teaches abstinence until marriage.

Virgin until Marriage

Brian Apollo has chosen virginity until marriage for two reasons. First, when Apollo was 10 years old, his older brother (by eight years) died of AIDS. Apollo watched his brother’s health deteriorate in front of his eyes.

Next, Apollo wants to remain faithful to God by waiting for a wife

More about Brian

First, Apollo works as a school psychologist lead for Chicago Public Schools. He oversees the downtown and part of mid-south side. Apollo has 10 years experience as a lead.  The district has 350 full-time psychologists and 6 leads. Apollo also helps with interns and practicum placements.

Next, Apollo is a poet with two published books: Spirituality Uncut , which discusses Christianity from outside the four walls of the church.

Apollo’s other book, Heart to Heart discusses relationships, with topics such as dating, courting, marriage, and divorce, from a Christian perspective.

Three factors which affect celibacy: STDs, Pregnancy, and Religion/Morality

Three primary reasons for maintaining a celibate or abstinent lifestyle include avoidance of sexual transmitted diseases; avoidance of pregnancy; and religion/morality.

Celibacy

Challenging the definition:

One of the first challenges of celibacy concerns the definition. According to Anderson, the modern generation is creating their sexual standards versus sticking to the traditional definitions.

Next, according to Google, celibacy is “the state of abstaining from marriage and sexual relations”, yet people also have their own personal definitions about acceptable and unacceptable behavior during celibacy. Celibacy is also interchanged with abstinence. According to Google, abstinence is the “…practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something, typically alcohol.”

Third, when searching celibacy and religion, another challenge includes adding relevant search terms, such as:

  • Virginity
  • Purity
  • Chastity
  • Sexual immorality

Some of the definitions have similarity to celibacy and abstinence.

STD Avoidance

In the past few months, Houston has had an increase in search volume for sexually transmitted diseases:

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Acquired immunodeficiency virus (AIDS)
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia

Houston also ranked 9th in HIV diagnosis in the United States, according to Pitman.

Pregnancy Avoidance

Another reason for maintaining a celibate lifestyle includes pregnancy avoidance. Choosing celibacy eliminates risk of accidental pregnancies. Using contraception does not guarantee a pregnancy will occur.

Religion/Morality

Finally, religion and morality helps people choose a celibate lifestyle. Religion may help someone decide to lead an abstinent or celibate lifestyle until marriage.

Storify

The Correlation between Celibacy and STDs/STIs; Religion/Morality; and Pregnancy Avoidance

Microsoft and Space Center Houston hosts Diva Designs Hackathon

On May 17, 2014, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m, at Start Houston, Microsoft and Space Center Houston hosted Diva Designs Hackathon to help young girls (grades 5 through 8) develop websites and design web applications. The Hackathon also wanted to attract youth into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

An estimated 40 plus people attended (developers, designers, entrepreneurs, parents, volunteers, and students).

What is Diva Designs Hackathon?

Diva Designs is a 501(c3), non-profit organization. Diva Designs Hackathon supports girls from underserved, lower income, communities in Houston.

Trice Johnson, a Microsoft partner, discussed with the director of Space Center Houston about helping “ideas to come alive via some game or app.” Through contact with Jeff Reichman of January Advisors, Diva Designs was created.

The Diva Designs girls meets on a monthly basis, but the Microsoft technology side will not meet again until September/October.

At the first annual Hackathon, the participants learned about website development, in addition to game development and coding.

Some of the girl’s ideas for apps included human trafficking, bullying, teen suicide, domestic abuse, and wireless communications.

Attracting Females to STEM Fields

In 2011, Donna Milgram reported on how STEM jobs had three times the growth compared to non-STEM jobs, in addition STEM fields earned 26% more income. Despite growth, STEM still needs to attract more females. Milgram said to attract more females, “women and girls need to see female role models in the workplace that look like them…”

Chris Hayhurst also said generating a female’s interest in STEM must start in elementary school and cultivated in high school and in college.

Encouragement Needed in STEM Fields

Hayhurst provided tips on how to encourage females in STEM fields. First, we need to create environments to stimulate interest in math and science. Second,  we need successful women in STEM to talk to young females. Finally, young females need positive feedback and reinforcement about performance.

You ladies have a golden opportunity to do things that generations before you haven’t had the opportunity to do” Kimberly Evans, Women of STEM, speaker at Diva Designs Houston.