The Million Women Mentors program kicked off its South Carolina initiative with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Symposium on Wednesday at River Bluff High School in Lexington, SC.

Million Women Mentors is a movement increase the interest and confidence of girls and women to persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers. Women are underrepresented in STEM fields with 50 percent of the entire workforce in all fields being women, but only 24 percent of workers in STEM fields being women.

South Carolina is joining over 40 states in the movement by pledging 5,000 mentors. By taking the pledge, South Carolina is committing to mentoring young women for a minimum of 20 hours through various activities.

"As a technical college administrator, I am excited to see South Carolina join the national Million Women Mentor movement of advancing women and girls interest and confidence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Careers and education," said Dr. Donna Foster of Piedmont Technical College.

Chris Brady Wolfe with SCANA, knows the impact of mentoring, saying, "Mentoring is important to our business community because it serves as an impactful tool to develop people through trust and relationships, and that's what great business is all about. Mentoring someone can make a huge impact on somebody's career and life, just as it did on mine."

MWM-SC is being led by the only student leader nationally, Iriana Molusky, a 2017 graduate of River Bluff High School, who plans to pursue her education at the University of Alabama as a civil/construction engineering major. Molusky's passion for STEM started as an elementary student who participated in LEGO Robotics and building with LEGOs.

Through her volunteering and personal education experiences, she recognized the lack of girls in STEM classes and activities. "As a high student, I realized the challenges that exist for girls interested in STEM. Bringing MWM to SC will help girls and young women pursue mentoring relationships to support their interest in STEM," says Molusky

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