Day 7 — Jacqueline Means

Top 10 Most Inspiring Women in the Greater Delaware Valley 2018

Jane Clark | Creative Director & Owner Teakettica LLC
Jane Clark, Creative Director &
Owner of Teakettica

Why We Chose Jacqueline Means

“Some folks are just meant to be leaders. I technically haven’t met Jacqueline, but I had the pleasure of hearing her speak at the Junior League of Wilmington’s Women Leadership Summit back in February of 2018. Wow! At only 15 years old, she is known in the community for her efforts in bringing STEM to the underprivileged girls of Wilmington, inspiring girls to get actively involved in science, technology, engineering, and math.  So well spoken and passionate, I am totally blown away by her. Speaker, event planner, chest player, volunteer, mentor and more. She makes me so proud to be a fellow Delawarean and a woman. She will continue to defy the stereotypes that limit our potentials.”

Jane Clark Signature

Jacqueline Means

STEM Queen | Visit Website

Jacqueline Means |Day 7 Top 10 Inspiring Women 2018 | Teakettica LLC

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you become interested in the STEM field

My name is Jacqueline Means, and I am 15-year-old girl who is making a positive impact in my community through my love of science, technology, engineering, and math.

I come from Southbridge Wilmington DE, a/k/a Murdertown USA; where shootings, and robberies are the norm; Where more than 60% of kids dropout of school, the city has one of the highest dropout rates in the country. I have defied these odds. I go to the Delaware Military Academy, where I maintain a 4.0 GPA and participate in multiple extracurriculars, including Business Professionals of America, Cheerleading, Track, and Model United Nations.

What change do you want to see in the world, and how are you aiding that cause?

I want to see more young girls involved with STEM! I started an initiative called Wilmington Urban STEM Initiative, an organization dedicated to getting young girls involved with STEM. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are subjects that still intimidate many young girls, and I hope to change that.

I have been hosting Girls Empowerment STEM Events on a regular basis throughout the past two years. At every event, each girl gets to do her own five science experiments, such as making slime, elephant toothpaste, and even dry-ice ice cream! The girls also get an inspiring talk from prominent women from their community, such as Congresswoman Lisa Blunt-Rochester.

Give a shout out to a woman or women who you consider to be your mentor(s)

My mom, Mrs. Velda Jones-Potter, and Dr. Teri Quinn Grey!

What advice do you have for young people who still don't know what they want to do as a career choice?

You’re still young! There’s no need to stress about what career you are going to be in right now. The best advice I can give would be to do your best in school right now, whether you are in elementary school, middle school, or high school. You want to set yourself up to have as many opportunities as possible, and good grades will help make that happen.

What sort of challenges do women face in getting involved in the STEM industries?

Engineering and computer science account for more than 80% of the STEM workforce, and yet, in 2013, women comprised only 12% of working engineers and 26% of computing professionals. That’s just one example of women making up too small a part of the STEM workforce. I definitely believe that a major challenge women face is under-representation in the STEM industries, which is something I hope to help change through my Girls Empowerment STEM Events. Another challenge women face is that for too long, women have been told that they can only go into certain fields of work, and that other fields, such as STEM, were strictly for men. I feel that women are finally beginning to realize that they can break out of the expectations set by others, be they male or female, and forge their own way in whatever field they want to go into, be it STEM or any other.

How do you motivate yourself, and stay motivated?

I know that a lot of young girls look up to me, so I am definitely motivated to do my best to set a good example for them by holding steadfast to my own standards of excellence and achievement, in other words — I walk the walk and don’t just talk the talk. By letting the girls know I live right here in the same community as they do, and that they don’t have to fall into the typical negative stereotypes, I offer them hope as a role model, teacher, and friend.

I stay motivated by consistently reminding myself what goal I am reaching for. With my STEM Initiative, the goal is to positively impact as many young girls as possible. With school, the goal is to get the best grades I can so I can get into a great college and become a neurosurgeon. With everything do, I try to set a goal, so whenever I get frustrated or feel stuck, I can remind myself of exactly what I am trying to accomplish.

What are your goals for the future?

One of my goals for the future is to continue to grow my STEM Initiative, and increase the amount of girls I can positively impact through my Girls Empowerment STEM events from 250 to as many as possible! My main goal is to become a successful neurosurgeon, and eventually travel the world offering free operations to individuals that can’t afford them.

Stay tuned for the next glorious gal…

More 2018 Most Inspiring Women

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