NeXXt Scholars Matriculate at U.S. Women's Colleges To Pursue STEM Careers

Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of State is pleased to welcome the inaugural cohort of 24 NeXXt Scholars, 12 international women and 12 American women, who are now beginning their undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) studies at 8 women’s colleges in the United States.

The NeXXt Scholars Initiative seeks to increase opportunities for young women around the world to advance in STEM careers. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched the initiative in December 2011 in partnership with 38 U.S. women’s colleges, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), EducationUSA, and the New York Academy of Sciences.

By partnering with women’s colleges, the NeXXt Scholars initiative focuses on increasing opportunities for women from countries with a Muslim-majority population to access a hands-on, inquiry-based STEM undergraduate education in the United States, and responds to Secretary Clinton’s core mission of educating and advancing women worldwide. The NeXXt Scholars are attending Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Columbia College, Douglass Residential College at Rutgers University, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Wilson College.

The international students in the inaugural class were nominated through State Department-supported EducationUSA advising centers, which provide educational advising and support to international students interested in studying in the United States. The first class represents young women from Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories (Gaza and West Bank), Tunisia, and Turkey. In addition, each college matriculating an international NeXXt Scholar has selected an American peer to partner with her. Together, these STEM-Sisters will receive career support services from the New York Academy of Sciences. This STEM-enrichment program includes a five-year Academy membership, a personal STEM mentor from the Academy, and opportunities for participation in network building and soft-skills development workshops.

This initiative seeks to encourage and empower young women by providing a strong background in STEM education, offering leadership training while fostering mutual respect and understanding across cultures, and building a strong network of women scientists, engineers, and innovators to together solve tomorrow’s global challenges. Outreach to the second cohort of NeXXt Scholars is currently underway for college matriculation in the fall of 2013. For more information, interested parties should contact their local EducationUSA adviser.

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