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Rise STEM Academy starts year with girl power

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Posted at 11:19 AM, Aug 02, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Among cheers and timid high fives, a new school year is underway at Fayette County Public School's Rise STEM Academy for Girls. The all-girls school boasts an enrollment of about 200 kindergarten-3rd graders, but by their side on the first day was a little inspiration. A doctor, businesswomen, women in construction, were just some of the role models there to show them what they can achieve.

"Everybody needs that pick me up, and what better way than the first day of school to set that trajectory for the whole year, " said the school's administrative dean, Jessica Greene.

This wasn't just any first day, but the first in-person first day since the school opened virtually during the pandemic. Another reason that they wanted to make a big impact on the girls Monday morning.

Greene said, "Each scholar is on their own level, so for some of them today was kind of an eye-opener. They realized there is something about them worth celebrating. For others, it was a realization that they've got this."

The hope is that these young girls will see themselves in these diverse adult role models. A tangible example of if you can see it, you can be it.

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"Having the opportunity to encourage them, inspire them and remind them of what their future can look like was really special this morning, " said Cierra Spaulding, Director of the YMCA Black Achievers Program.

A powerful exercise not just for the young scholars but for the adults as well.

"It means a lot to them and a lot to us, " said Teena Oaken, VP of the National Association of Women in Construction. "We are at an age in time where women are just as important as men, and it was so empowering this morning to watch these little young girls just light up. They've got dreams and hopes, and one day they can do whatever they want to do."

A reminder to women and girls everywhere, that they are worthy of their dreams and through hard work anything is possible.