Awa Sy

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: To the Moon and Beyond: Empowering Girls in STEM Through AstronomySenegal

Awa Sy is an entrepreneur at heart. She is passionate about promoting job creation and passing on the skills of the future. Awa says that "Boosting #WomanPower [is] my favorite sport."

Awa sees her main purpose as reducing the talent gap in Africa by supporting job creation through skills acceleration and opportunity facilitation. Her goal is to create a world where everyone on the continent can benefit from a quality education and find or create decent work for themselves and for thousands of other people. Awa currently works at JoBee.

IVLP Impact Award Project: To the Moon and Beyond: Empowering Girls in STEM Through Astronomy

The project was an astronomy-based initiative to empower youth, especially girls in high schools, to embrace STEM in their education but also their future careers. The project educated 49 girls about the importance of STEM for the development of a nation and also included two stargazing sessions to inspire the necessary curiosity in the students that will drive them to continue pursuing careers in STEM.

Awa was also a panelist for the IVLP Impact Awards Alumni Discussion Series panel on “Youth & STEM” which you can read more about here.

“The session was very successful with clear and precise explanations... I learned so many things that I didn't imagine… knowing that there are still other planets that revolve around other stars and that there could be life on planets that have roughly the same thermal conditions as the earth inspires me a lot.” - Project Participant

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Awa was a participant in the IVLP Project Hidden No More: Empowering Women Leaders in STEM, organized by the U.S. Department of State and FHI 360.

Awa's exchange experience led to the development of her IVLP Impact Award Project: "I was inspired and amazed by the young girls who love astronomy, robotics, etc. who carry out breathtaking projects and already have career plans for the end of high school. These STEM girls, whom I met in the magnet programs at Lyman High School, at the Orlando Science Center or the California Science Center, humbly "remind" me of the importance of having an education system that gives everyone a chance, reduces the dream gap, inspires and supports."

U.S. Communities Visited

Los Angeles, CA; Washington, DC; Orlando, FL; Boston, MA

"When our host Norberto Oropez (California Science Center) told me to use storytelling and history to inspire and teach young people about astronomy and any other science, I said to myself 'it's time to launch this new challenge'." - Awa Sy

Country: Senegal 

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