RS&H Transportation engineer Amanda Schram was thrilled that the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council (GSGC) in Jacksonville received a grant from the Elevate Fund.

Amanda, who has been volunteering with GSGC for a year and a half, has in that time spent over 30 hours tutoring students in middle and high school.

“The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results,” said Amanda.

GSGC’s mission is to build girls courage, confidence and character to help make the world a better place. GSGC fulfills its mission by creating a safe space for girls to try new things, develop a range of skills, take on leadership roles and just be themselves.

Girl Scouts is proven to help girls thrive as they develop a strong sense of self, display positive values, seek challenges and learn from setbacks, form and maintain healthy relationships, and identify and solve problems in the community. It also allows for girls to lead their own adventure and team up with other girls to choose the hands-on and exciting activities that interest them the most, all the while gaining important skills: science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), outdoors, life skills and entrepreneurship.

RS&H Elevate Fund Helps Start STEM Program

GSGC is the most recent organization to receive funding from the RS&H Elevate Fund.

The fund supports associates in aiding the communities they work and live in by encouraging and funding volunteer and charitable activities that align with the company’s values. RS&H aims to provide grants to nonprofit organizations that focus on helping people in need, supporting children and youth programs, and enhancing education.

STEM Summer CampThe donation to GSGC ensured the continuation of the summer STEM camp started in summer 2018. With the $7,500 donation, the STEM program helped expose girls to STEM and women professionals in STEM careers.

RS&H provided three sets of activities at the weeklong camp. Volunteers represented multiple disciplines, including transportation, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering in addition to architecture.

“The girls were introduced to autonomous vehicle simulations and water drainage concepts in addition to building catapults and batteries,” Amanda said. “They also built and ate a road made of chocolate and ice cream.”

This young program partnered with STEM experts to deliver quality, evidence-based programming to help build a pipeline of female STEM professionals.

“We helped every girl see that STEM careers can help fulfill their desires to make the world a better place,” said Amanda.

Hope of a Positive Impact

At the camp, Amanda saw that the girls were very observant of the world they live in. The girls knew of the environmental implications of pollution of our natural resources when roadway drainage was discussed.

“When we asked what they knew about autonomous vehicles, one girl was concerned about the computers driving the vehicles being safe from hackers,” said Amanda. “The girls we worked with have so much potential, and we hope that we had a positive impact by showing them that they could be engineers and architects.”

Learn more about how RS&H gives back to our communities through the Elevate Fund.

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About the author

Lea Crittenden
Lea Crittenden
Lea Anne is a Communications Intern for RS&H. She has experience in writing and photography and is currently obtaining her MA in Digital Media from UCF.