Award recipient Olivia Boudreau with nominating teacher Amanda Ripa
Hardy Girls Healthy Women (HGHW), a Waterville based nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and well being of girls and women, launched the Girls Rock! Awards eight years ago as a way of “amplifying the voices of brave and amazing girls throughout our state.” Each year girls ages 9-19 are nominated from around the state in five categories: Title IX Champion, Health Promoter, Against the Odds Advocate, Community Organizer, Entrepreneur, and STEM-gineer.
This year, Olivia Boudreau, a MMS 7th grader in Amanda Ripa’s science class was nominated for, and won, the STEM-gineer award. The HGHW site describes the recipient of this award as someone who, “ succeeds in science, technology, engineering or math. She rejects the idea these subjects are not for girls and has created a counter narrative with her accomplishments. She could be an inventor, a competition winner, or a pioneer in her field.”
In her nomination letter, Ms. Ripa describes Olivia as, “a true STEM-gineer. Her many talents and interests will help her pave a promising future in a STEM career and impact the world for the better.” A student who approaches the world with compassion, curiosity, and creativity, Olivia tackles projects for class with great determination and problem solving skills, and is a leader among her peers.
She has helped fundraise over $1000 for William Kamkwamba’s Windmill projects, has designed posters and brochures to raise awareness about renewable energy, and made a presentation to the school board with a group of her peers to get approval for a solar panel evaluation for the MMS building. “The proposal was unanimously approved and we will be moving forward to create a more sustainable school environment and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels while saving our school money, ” said Ms. Ripa. Encouraging girls to find their passion and use their voice to make a difference in this way is what the Girls Rock! Award is all about.
The 2016 Girls Rock! Awards will be on Thursday, April 7th from 6-7:30 at Colby College.
For more details on the awards and categories go to http://hghw.org/girls-rock/