Eureka! Externships at Girls Inc.

At Girls Inc. girls have many opportunities to be succeed and one of the most impactful opportunities is the Eureka! STEM (Science, Tecnology, Engineering, and Math) program. Eureka! was founded in 1988 at a California Girls Inc. affiliate to help older participants of Girls Inc. succssfully access college and other post-secondary education in order to transition to independent, self-sufficient adulthood. Girls Inc. of Omaha is one of the fourteen Girls Inc. affiliates to offer this program.

The Eureka! program, which is free for participating girls, is split into three parts; Summer Camp; externships; and college and scholarship prep. Girls begin the Eureka! program as rising 8th graders with a STEM Camp at University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO). The camp runs for two summers, spanning into the girls’ 9th grade year. The camps, which run the full month of June on the UNO campus, provide the girls with STEM education and hands-on challenges in computing, robotics, aerodynmaics, engineering, biology, botany, and more. The girls learn from professionals in those fields and UNO professors, graduate students, and interns. They also gain experience in health, leadership, advocacy, and personal development. While at the camp, the girls get a chance to take swimming lessons, either learning to swim or to improve their existing swimming skills. After the camps, the girls participate in monthly STEM and/or social experiences throughout the school year. They participate in field trips that include the Henry Doorly Zoo and watching the Sandhill Crane migration in Wood River, Nebraska, and they also go to the movies and have sleepovers.

In their 10th and 11th grade years, the girls participate in what is known as an externship. In this program, they gain real-world experience working in a field of their interest. Some companies are gracious enough to donate a stipend for the girls, so not only are they gaining experience in the work field, they also earning compensation for their time. Girls Inc. provides transportation to and from externship sites if needed. The externshop experience has given many girls an opportunity to see themselves in the professional field of their dreams, and empowered and helped them attain their career goals.

Prior to and during 12th grade, the girls work on college readiness. They complete FAFSA student aid forms, work on scholarship essays, research school choices online, tour campuses, and speak with financial aid officcers.

Girls Inc. graduated its eighth cohort of girls from Eureka! in 2019 and they will be the third cohort to head to college in the fall.

Thanks to all of the companies that hosted girls as externs for 2019. Below is a complete list of those companies: