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Jackie Franco '23

Juniors Jackie Franco ’23 and Lulu Caruso ’23 promote female-empowerment in STEM fields.

GAINS Club – Lulu Caruso ’23 and Jackie Franco ’23

For the first time, juniors Lulu Caruso and Jackie Franco will introduce the Girls Advancing in STEM (GAINS) Club to the Sacred Heart community.  The GAINS Club strives to encourage girls to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and enrich their passion for those fields. 

The club is a member of the GAINS Network.  This organization provides a leadership training program for club heads, a monthly calendar of events, and resources for club meetings, according to gainsnetwork.org.  

“I’ve been working with GAINS for about a year now so I’m glad Jackie and I were able to make it a club this year,” Lulu said.  “We’re really looking forward to collaborating with GAINS clubs at other schools in our area.”

The club meetings will consist of discussions that delve into club members’ topics of interest.  Lulu and Jackie plan to work with the GAINS Network to invite local women working in STEM to talk to the club about their experiences in the male-dominated field.

The club heads recognize the importance of their club at an all-girls school.  In 2019, women accounted for 27 percent of workers in STEM-related fields, according to census.gov.  Recognizing the importance of community, the GAINS Club provides a space for Sacred Heart students to interact with other girls interested in STEM, creating a network of support.

Students gather for a past GAINS conference.  Courtesy of gainsnetwork.org

Lulu and Jackie hope to take their club to the GAINS conference this year.  The conference offers an opportunity for girls in GAINS clubs at different schools to join together and enrich themselves in a welcoming environment.  Lulu attended the conference last year. 

“It was such an amazing experience and really strengthened and expanded my passion for STEM,” Lulu said.  “I’m really looking forward to sharing that experience with the club this year.”

Featured Image Courtesy of Claire Moore ’22