Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: January 4, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Council on Women: Traci J. DeShazor, Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth, women@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Northam and Virginia Council on Women Announce 8th Annual STEM Essay Contest

Governor and First Lady Northam to serve as honorary co-chairs

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam and the Virginia Council on Women today announced the 8th Annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Essay Contest for young women in their junior and senior years of high school.

The Council will award at least five $5,000 scholarships to high school junior and senior young women who will be pursuing a STEM career at an institution of higher education. One scholarship will be awarded in each of five geographic regions across the state. Additional scholarships may be awarded at the discretion of the Council.

“It is critical that we prepare all Virginia students to succeed in fields like science, technology, engineering, and math, and this annual contest is a great way to encourage more young women to explore their passions and pursue careers in these industries,” said Governor Northam. “The scholarships awarded by the Council will help Virginia women achieve their academic and professional goals in high-demand sectors that are charting the path of our global economy today and into the future.”

The STEM Essay Contest was launched in 2012 with 170 young women from across the Commonwealth submitting essays focusing on their vision for a future STEM education or career. In its first year, the Council raised $10,000 and made three scholarship awards. Now, in its eighth year, the Council has awarded nearly $200,000 in scholarships. The Council partners with the Math Science Innovation Center, which, has served as a regional math and science center since its establishment in 1966, to administer the contest.

Last year, the Council received nearly 500 essay submissions and, thanks to the generosity of sponsors, awarded $50,000 in scholarships to five Virginia students.

To be eligible, one must be a female or identify as a female, reside in Virginia, be a junior or senior in high school and hold at least a 2.5 GPA. Applications and guidelines are available online here.

Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on February 22, 2019. Essays will be judged by a panel of Council members and individuals who represent STEM fields. Winners will be notified by March 21, 2019. The scholarship awards will be presented at a reception at the Executive Mansion in Richmond, Virginia, in April 2019.

The chief purpose of the Virginia Council on Women is to help women reach their potential and maximize their contributions to society and the Commonwealth as wage earners and citizens. The Council has initiated several projects to meet this goal. Find additional information about the Council and available sponsorship opportunities here.

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