#TheFutureIsFemale Scholarship Winner
The first edition of our #TheFutureIsFemale Scholarship has left us with an overwhelming feeling of purpose and unbelievable inspiration. One hundred-sixteen fearless women of change submitted their applications, shared their dreams, and challenged our initiative to create an impact on the world around us. Selecting a winner was an honor and a privilege... one that we are humbled to present.
We are so thrilled to announce Miss Kaylah Dowdell as our 2018 winner! Kaylah stood out among applicants because of her dedication to being the example for minority women in STEM. With strong support and encouragement from her mother, Kaylah has grown a sense of pride within herself to stay focused on showcasing HER best in spite of being the minority. Hailing from Atlanta, GA she will enter Jackson State University as a rising freshman majoring in Biology.
"My mother is truly my biggest role model. She embodies a smart, strong and yet empathetic personality that I aspire to be. My mother's work ethic and determination constantly inspires me and shows that she is willing to work hard for me to have the opportunities that she never had."
Women continue to be underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programs. Kaylah's passion for minority women pursuing such studies inspires girls to choose unconventional routes that close gender gaps in professions dominated by their male counterparts. She empowers women to embrace being strong, smart, and savvy while promoting a positive cycle of uplifting the women around her.
"I want to change the narrative. I want to encourage young girls that we are more than beauty and bodies and that being successful doesn’t mean that you have to be rich with material things, but to be rich in spirit. I want to promote higher education, trade school, business ownership, things that will truly empower us to be able to help our communities."
We can’t wait to see what you do next, Kaylah! Enjoy a few of her submission responses below for some serious #girlpower inspiration. And to all of you future FEARLESS females: Keep an eye out for our second edition of #TheFutureIsFemale Scholarship, launching early in 2019!
Who is your Most important female role model?
It may sound a bit cliché, but my mother is truly my biggest role model. She embodies a smart, strong and yet empathetic personality that I aspire to be. She has helped groom me into a responsible young adult who appreciates what it means to be a well-rounded young woman in today’s world. My generation is overwhelmed by social media acceptance and that alone coupled with the normal teenage growing pains can be stressful. Having a mother who promotes emotional well-being over a superficial social media status has helped keep me focused on what is really important in life. She helps nurture a necessary balance in my life that has allowed me to learn from my mistakes, accept my flaws, to pursue my dreams and build meaningful relationships. Without my mother’s influence, I honestly do not know where I would be. She makes me proud so I want to make her proud also. There are so many young girls who do not have a positive influence in their lives, I want to be an example to others by sharing what my role model has taught me and hopefully this will promote a positive cycle of women uplifting and educating each other.
Why do you feel that it is important for women to support one another?
In most cases women are the minority. For many years we have been conditioned to think we are not smart enough, or pretty enough or that we cannot do certain things. Well, ENOUGH! We are enough, in more ways than our outer appearance. We are trendsetters and have often been the force behind many of history’s historic movements and moments. We are stronger together than apart and collectively we can continue to spark the necessary change in today’s society to impact such issues as unequal pay, harassment and other women’s initiatives. “Black Girl Magic" is real and is a beautiful uplifting movement upon us but, other races only see how we are constantly antagonizing each other based on skin color and/or hair texture. We have to do better as a culture and set an example of encouraging and uplifting each other instead of tearing down our fellow sisters.
What impact do you want to leave on the world?
As a young African American woman, I want to be able to impact my community as well as the world by showing other young girls to reach for your dreams. I will be a S.T.E.M major and I am aware that I am a minority in this field. Growing up in Atlanta, I see girls and women who look like me being recognized for being social media or reality stars I want to change that narrative. I want to encourage young girls that we are more than beauty and bodies and that being successful doesn’t mean that you have to be rich with material things but to be rich in spirit. I want to promote higher education, trade school, business ownership, things that will truly empower us to be able to help our communities and leave a positive legacy for other young women to follow.