“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”  Buddha

You’ve heard me say it before…generosity is freely sharing what you have with others.   We were thrilled to work with Ms. Lisa Anders during our annual Black History workshop and I am so pleased to feature her today as one of mentorSTEM’s special partners.

Lisa Anders was the inspiration behind mentorSTEM’s workshop titled “Building Blocks in STEM Careers.”

Felicia Boyd, Caronell Diew and Lisa Anders

We first had lunch with Ms. Anders back in January 2012 to discuss her climb to the top of the male-dominated engineering field and her incredible success as the Senior Project Manager for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC.

“As a young girl growing up in the DC area, my favorite activity was to build and create,”  Ms. Anders said.  “I built models of buildings and airplanes and cars. I would take a vision in my mind and make it into something I could touch.  This is what inspired me to pursue a career in engineering.  So naturally I want to work with the kids on a hands-on STEM workshop focused on civil engineering and architecture.”

Well that was music to my ears!

As you know, mentorSTEM is all about project-based, hands-on learning– so developing a workshop based on diverse project teams working together to build a memorial for the community — this was a perfect fit for our program!  This is how “Building Blocks for STEM Careers” was born.

Hands-on, project based learning is a mentorSTEM best practice

And working with Lisa Anders has been a perfect partnership.

Special thanks to the busy Ms. Anders, who juggles an extremely hectic schedule (did you know she’s launched a new project as Senior Program Director for the new National Museum of African American History and Culture?) to mentor students affiliated with mentorSTEM.

And what a wonderful role model she is!  Ms. Anders possesses 22 years of civil engineering and project management experience in both the public and private sector markets.  Currently, as a Vice President with McKissack & McKissack, Ms. Anders directs, plans and manages business development efforts within the Washington Metropolitan region.

Not to mention Ms. Ander’s work on the MLK Memorial!!  What a special sense of pride and accomplishment this memorial has brought for all of our community.  What?  You haven’t been there yet?  Well you must go!  Walking through the park-like setting, reading the inspirational quotes…the experience will bring a lump to your throat.

As for now, we at mentorSTEM are getting a kick out of watching Ms. Anders blaze the trail for women in STEM careers…not to mention helping to break that female executive glass ceiling.

We look forward to future collaborative efforts with the fabulous Lisa Anders!


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