MASON, Ohio — Hoping to encourage young girls’ aspirations in STEM fields, Procter & Gamble invited 10 Aiken High School students to its Innovation Lab for a hands-on look at the process of creating a new product.
For Dr. Maiysha Jones, a senior scientist with Olay Body, it was an opportunity to pay forward the support she’d received early in her own career.
“It was programs like this and mentors that I had along the way that really encouraged me to stick with it and persevere through the challenges that come with pursuing academics in STEM,” she said.
The visiting students all plan to study STEM in college. Jones walked them through a typical day in the lab, taught them about the process of making soap and helped them mix up their own body washes.
At the end of the day, she had a surprise: A $10,000 check for each of them to help fund their college dreams.
“It is very, very big,” said Aiken senior Patricia Cimalamungu. “I am the first generation from my family to go to college. This is like one step forward, so I cannot believe it until now. I feel proud, you know? I feel like we are unique and we can make a difference in the world.”
Jones said she wants all of the girls to continue chasing their careers with confidence and support.
“I think they realized the investment that we’re making could be a game-changer for their futures,” she said.