Big Sister STEM is a team of volunteer undergraduate and graduate students from research universities such as UCSD, UCI, and UC Berkeley who are all pursuing careers in STEM. All of our volunteers are passionate about the mentorship and advancement of young women in STEM.
I opened up shop in May of 2020 in the midst of COVID-19. Like many others, being stuck at home gave me a little too much time to think, so I channeled that time and thought into creating what I would have loved to give my past self – cool, smart, and strong women in my life who liked science.
The Struggle of the Woman in STEM
Women in STEM are often portrayed as unfriendly, plain, and too serious to have fun. I never wanted to be that, so I spent most of my life trying to convince myself that I didn’t love science (even though I always secretly did.)
When I started life in STEM, I ran into a different problem. I spent a lot of time being the only girl in the room. STEM is still a heavily male-dominated field today, and as a woman of color, it’s easy to feel lost and alone.
Enter Big Sister STEM
Big Sister STEM addresses both of the concerns I had as a new woman in STEM. First, we show young girls that not all scientists fit the stereotype. Take a look at our Meet the Big Sisters page. We come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and each bring different personalities and styles to the table.
Second, we bring a community of women in STEM together. This not only helps our younger girls see that you don’t always have to feel like the only girl who likes science, but Big Sisters also support each other (and get some networking in too!)
-Megan Grace Li