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Meet Karen - Volunteering to Motivate Young Women

Many people speak aspirationally in broad terms about “helping out” or “giving back” or “sharing the benefits” of STEM enrichment as volunteers with JerseySTEM. It’s truly inspiring to witness the compassion of our team members!

Volunteer Karen E. Rice
Volunteer Karen E. Rice

Karen E. Rice – currently a marketing manager with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and previously an executive pharmaceutical consultant with Medical Marketing Solutions, LLC – has a more specific vision for the future of our after-school programs for the young women of underserved New Jersey school districts: “That 80% of girls who enter the program in (middle school) are still active participants when they graduate from high school and enter a science program in college,” she says.


“I think we must identify those girls who are most motivated and encourage them to create and reach their dream of a career in a STEM field,” Karen explains.


Karen didn’t have any experience working with individual donors as a marketer when she started volunteering with JerseySTEM. However – like the intelligent and resourceful thinkers she wants to motivate – she used brain power to figure it out. Karen was able to identify and build a prospective outreach database, which served as a launchpad for the JerseySTEM individual donors program.


“I was searching for an organization where my interest and career in the science and pharmaceutical industry could have a positive influence on young, minority girls interested in STEM,” she says. Karen found a good volunteer home with our team, consistent with her professional commitment to protect sight and empower lives with the leading ophthalmic advocacy organization.

“As a minority female with degrees in science and marketing and years of marketing strategy experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, I was confident and excited (about) the possibility of creating new initiatives to motivate and influence the girls in the JerseySTEM program.”

We think the young women of New Jersey are ready!

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