Local Girls Find Inspiration in Hidden Figures

February 23, 2017 - 10:31 PM

Throughout the month of January, Hammonds Initiative sponsored more than 50 local girls to attend screenings of the movie Hidden Figures at Penn Hills Cinemas. The event was a part of the organization's Reach & Teach Program, which uses African American Arts & Cinema to educate and empower African American youth on culture and history.

Chosen specifically to highlight the phenomenal women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, Hidden Figures focuses on the untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson; three brilliant African American women who worked at NASA during a time of segregation and the marginalizing of women in science. With intellect, strength, and perseverence, the three women played integral roles in Project Mercury, the first human space flight program of the United States which sent astronauts Alan Shepard and John Glenn into orbit.

Hammonds Initiative took more than 50 girls over two weeks to participate in the Reach & Teach program thanks to the generosity of sponsors Melissa Waldron, Jennifer Burgess Johnson, Ama Baltimore, and TDC Contracting LLC.

The release of Hidden Figures comes at a time when many in science and technology industries are working to combat gender and racial imbalance and encourage more women and minorities into participate in STEM programs. (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)

The movie was followed up with a discussion session led by Ms. Shayla Holmes, asking the girls how the women in the film inspired the them, their interest in STEM programming, and what they would take away personally from the film.

Hammonds Initiative will host its next Reach & Teach program event in March for both boys and girls ages 12-18. If you would like more information on the Reach & Teach Program, call 412-452-7385.

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