Imani knew she wanted to pursue a career in STEM when she became part of a robotics team offered through Girls Inc. “We didn’t have these programs at my school so being able to participate through Girls Inc. was what sparked my interest,” said Imani. Years later, this interest led her to Dallas, Texas, where she works as an engineering consultant.
Imani entered the Girls Inc. program when she was in kindergarten and remained for eight years. She has great memories of her time in the program and the friendships she made. “My favorite memory is playing on the Girls Inc. soccer team in third grade. Our team had made it to the championship tournament in Birmingham. Even though we didn’t win the tournament, we still had a great time being together. It was a great bonding experience.”
She also credits Girls Inc. with giving her the ambition and drive to earn a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Auburn University. “I was a part of the College Bound Program where we visited a variety of colleges in the southeast. We visited Auburn University and participated in their Camp War Eagle Freshman Orientation. This trip opened my eyes to what Auburn had to offer.”
Imani says she isn’t done yet- she has big plans to continue her education by pursuing her MBA, as well as leadership roles within her field. “I credit my time with Girls Inc. in part for my success. It introduced me to so many things I didn’t know existed, as well as to people from different backgrounds and perspectives. It shaped me into the person I am today.”
She says that programs like Girls Inc. are important to communities and allow girls to be lifted and mentored. “Girls Inc. take girls outside of their normal environment and comfort zone to show them something new. It provides young girls with a safe space to be who they are meant to be.”
Lastly, Imani has a message for other girls out there, especially those interested in a STEM-based career. “Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything. Women are in every industry holding their own and doing a phenomenal job at it. If you have a goal or dream, pursue it and research women who are in those roles as well.”