Blue Star Families and Boeing Give Military Families Access to Rosie Riveters’ STEM Program in D.C. Region
Have you heard about Rosie Riveters’ program? Blue Star Families, in partnership with Boeing, worked hard to open this virtual, hands-on project-based STEM program for girls ages 4 – 14 to military families in D.C. Why? Because it’s an opportunity to address two very important needs in the military community: military spouse employment and support for military kids.
Military families are struggling. Maybe more so now than ever. With many schools still closed, normal activities canceled or restricted, and employment struggles exacerbated, the challenges military families face have compounded. In fact, according to the 2020 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, 42% of military spouse respondents who had been working prior to the pandemic reported they had stopped working at some point during it, with layoffs and furloughs as the top reported cause; most (68%) of those who stopped work remain unemployed. In addition, the most common barrier reported by active-duty spouses who need or want work but are not currently working is homeschooling or supervising children’s education.
Not being able to financially contribute to your family, upon having to sacrifice your career to manage virtual learning or homeschooling with no training or practice doing so; these things and more are creating additional stress for military families. And when there is stress at home, we know mission readiness suffers.
We needed to connect families to resources to help.
Luckily, our partner Boeing in the National Capital Region agreed. With the organization’s help, we were able to provide Rosie Riveters’ program to 36 military families in the D.C. area.
How does this program address both issues of spouse employment and support for military kids? Through awesome collaboration! Laura, Senior Manager for Workforce Development at Blue Star Families, helped recruit military spouses who were hired and trained to be instructors for the program. Once these talented instructors were in place, Julie, National Capital Region Chapter Director for Blue Star Families, coordinated the program for local military kids in grades K-8.
“We were so excited about the opportunity to collaborate on this amazing opportunity,” Laura and Julie said. “The Blue Star Families mission is to ensure military families feel supported with access to resources they need to thrive. With this program, we are able to address spouse employment, support education needs of military children, reduce stress on families, and hopefully encourage these girls to consider the possibilities of STEM-related career paths.” We are all about working together in support of a common mission, and these ladies really got it done!
Military families just started participating, and they are already seeing the benefits. “My daughter was hesitant to attend this program,” Omoni, an Army Spouse, shared. “We homeschool, and she thought this was just another program that I was forcing her to do. When she was finished, she’d burst into my room with a huge smile. She told me all about her project and then showed me her work. As a mom of a girl, I’m keenly aware that girls lose interest in STEM around middle school. I am grateful for this opportunity you all have provided to broaden her horizons and her perception of STEM related things. Thank you all.”
Are you looking for programs and resources like this in your area? Connect with Blue Star Families today to see what great opportunities may be available for you!