She Is STEM, INC was founded in February 2020 in Palm Bay, Florida. They strive to help those in need, while also inspiring girls/women in STEM. STEM is a wide field that many people aren’t aware of until they look into it, and even then it can be full of surprises.
Who is the founder of She Is STEM, and what inspired her to begin She Is STEM?
Brittany Maniga is the founder of She Is STEM. Brittany has always wanted to help others, which is what led her to healthcare and eventually pharmacy.
Since high school, Brittany has wanted to create a charity and to one day be a philanthropist. She has hosted several small donation drives for the less fortunate. During their final year of pharmacy school, Brittany and Chipo (VP) traveled to Guatemala with their fellow pharmacy peers for a mission trip. That trip solidified both of their desires to create a charity with a component involving international mission trips.
In March 2019, Brittany and Chipo traveled to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to volunteer in an HIV and ambulatory care clinic. This was the first ever pharmacy mission trip that Hospital Escuela and the Baxter Institute clinics had ever had. During that experience we decided that we have to put our plan of creating a charity into motion.
What was the most difficult part of starting She Is STEM?
Narrowing down our pillars to target a specific group. We initially struggled to determine if we were going to focus on homeless people, teens/young adults, women, etc. But then we had to take a step back and discuss what our end goal would ideally be.
What is the most rewarding part of starting She Is STEM?
Connecting with like-minded individuals/organizations and giving back to those who need it. Seeing the shift in someone’s mood by simply letting them know that you see them and care about them is incredibly rewarding.
Tell us about some programs She Is STEM has implemented.
Our mission is to strengthen communities through assisting those in need and to inspire girls and women in STEM programs to take control of their lives and pursue the futures they have always envisioned. We’ve broken our mission down into 3 pillars:
Serve: those in need within our local community by helping to provide basic needs, school supplies, medication education and volunteering to bridge the gap between healthcare and the community.
Assist: institutions and organizations by providing pharmaceutical and educational aid to individuals by participating in domestic and international mission trips.
Inspire: girls and women in STEM programs by fostering their knowledge through mentorship, networking, and eliminating financial barriers that hinder their success.
Thus far, we have fund raised for activities for our serve and assist pillars. We assisted the people of the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian by sending much needed medications and dental hygiene supplies (this was just before we officially formed). We are currently fund raising for our serve pillar, for which we have collaborated with the Sulzbacher center to assist the homeless and at-risk individuals in Jacksonville, Florida.
Where do you see She Is STEM in 5 years? What about 10 years?
In 5 years we see ourselves growing with a full team and completing 1-2 initiatives for each of our pillars. Within 10 years we hope to be able to offer an annual scholarship to girls/women in or working towards STEM programs as part of our Inspire pillar.
What lasting impact do you want She Is STEM to have?
We want our lasting impact to be that girls/women can do whatever we set our minds on, including STEM.
How can people support She Is STEM?
You can show support by donating to our website SheIsSTEM.org and sharing our website/ Instagram to raise awareness
You can Find She Is STEM at: