Olathe, Kansas 8th Grader is selected as one of 51 Youth Representing 50 States to Champion STEM Learning
as Part of the STEM Next Opportunity Fund’s Million Girls Moonshot Flight Crew

Youth ambassador program gives young leaders the skills to advance the national conversation about STEM learning in afterschool 

KANSAS (Feb. 7, 2024): STEM Next Opportunity Fund announced Million Girls Moonshot Flight Crew – a youth ambassador program championing access to STEM learning opportunities in afterschool and summer for all youth across the nation.

The 2024 cohort includes Brooklyn, an 8th Grader from Olathe, Kansas.

Motivated by their impactful STEM experiences beyond the classroom, Brooklyn and other Flight Crew members will elevate youth voices to break down stereotypes and spark their peers’ curiosity in STEM. These young leaders embody the Moonshot mission to engage millions more girls in STEM learning opportunities and inspire more youth to pursue a STEM career.

“On behalf of the Kansas Enrichment Network and in partnership with the trailblazing leadership found within the Million Girls Moonshot initiative and the STEM Next Opportunity Fund, we are thrilled to help welcome Brooklyn to the 2024 Flight Crew,” said Michael Lemon, Director of the Kansas Enrichment Network.

“I believe Brooklyn is going to be a phenomenal ambassador for STEM-learning across Kansas! Her current passion for Science Olympiad is so vibrant, but so is her desire to share and create rich opportunities that expose more youth to experience and become comfortable with STEM in their own unique way.”

The 2024 Flight Crew cohort includes 51 youth, ages 13-18, from all 50 states. Having worked to solve challenges in their communities and participated in hands-on STEM experiences outside of the classroom, the Flight Crew were selected to share their life-changing experiences in afterschool and summer programs. Seeking to reimagine what builders, inventors, and engineers look like, Brooklyn will serve as a role model for youth in Kansas and the nation, showing other young people what is possible with STEM. Learn more about the 2024 Flight Crew members here.

Eight months of leadership development and public speaking training will be provided, as the Flight Crew simultaneously acts as champions of afterschool STEM. Skill building will include resume and interview coaching, connections with STEM professionals, and social media training for the members to gain life-changing social capital.

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because you could make so many new friends that share your same interests” Brooklyn said. Brooklyn would like to pursue any career that involves math, engineering, and/or computer science.

“We are excited to implement new training and ideas to amplify the experiences and voices of these inspiring young people. The Flight Crew is a part of STEM Next’s strategy to grow STEM leaders so that we can make out-of-school STEM opportunities a reality for millions of young people to help them thrive for whatever comes next in their lives. We have so much to learn from these students,” said Teresa Drew, Deputy Director of STEM Next Opportunity Fund and Executive Director of the Million Girls Moonshot initiative.

Launched in 2020, the Million Girls Moonshot builds field capacity for afterschool and summer programs and educators to prepare students for a future fueled by science, technology, engineering, and math. To achieve the ambitious goal of reaching millions of girls in five years, the Moonshot partners with the robust 50 State Afterschool Network to empower and support afterschool and summer STEM programs in every state across the country.

About STEM Next Opportunity Fund

As a national leader, strategic guide, policy advocate and investor, STEM Next is making out-of-school STEM opportunities a reality for millions of young people to help them thrive in STEM and beyond. In September 2020, STEM Next launched The Million Girls Moonshot, which inspires and prepares the next generation of innovators by engaging millions more girls in STEM learning opportunities through afterschool and summer programs over 5 years. By investing early in the lives of our children, STEM Next is transforming their lives and preparing them for the 21st century economy. Learn more at STEMNext.org. Connect with STEM Next on Twitter and LinkedIn. Learn more about the Million Girls Moonshot at milliongirlsmoonshot.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.