Wilmington’s future City Council member discusses importance of STEM

By Rysheema Dixon – May 23rd, 2016

STEM is crucial to growing our economy. Building the STEM infrastructure in the State and in our local communities exposes our students and residents to the booming STEM climate affecting our neighborhoods everyday. Changing the school environment and learning techniques to expand our student’s minds so they can gain interest in the exciting new careers that STEM has to offer. As the world evolves, STEM becomes more and more important for our communities to understand and work in.

My extensive background in health through STEM is a result of: Delcastle Vo-Tech High School practical nursing program; volunteering at local hospitals; attending a medical/ dental internship in Nebraska and working over the summer with John Hopkins as a health assistant in Massachusetts at a language camp. I was also a biological science major until my senior year at the University of Delaware before I switched to Sociology as I decided that helping people required more than medicine.

Having a background in the sciences helped me combine with my love for community work. I started my own business called RD Innovative Planning in 2011 which is a community development group that assists non-profits and churches with organizing around a specific issue, planning events and managing projects to ensure our non-profits and churches are delivering their services to their best ability. My experience in STEM has also allowed me to tap into technology. I am a Technical.ly Delaware Stakeholder and Technical.ly Delaware named me as one of the Top 12 Women in Delaware shaping the Technology Scene in 2014.

As I now enter into the public office arena, I understand how STEM plays an enormous part in the landscape of our City of Wilmington. Technology is emerging in many ways across the City, we have amazing STEM non-profits, State programs and private sector interests. As I stated earlier, we should encourage our school systems to heighten awareness and teach our young people ways to expand their career opportunities. I am looking forward to working with STEM programs/projects across the City to ultimately improve the quality of life of our neighborhoods. As well as adding to the Arts and Culture in the City creating the STEAM effect which is powerful. In today’s society, we have to be creative and innovative as we move forward to make an impact.

My experience with STEM has made me the leader I am today. I am a proud advocate of STEM!