Role Models & Mentors Inspire Career Awareness

young woman being mentored

Role models and mentors inspire career awareness and increase youth interest in, positive attitudes toward, and identification with STEM (Maltese & Tai, 2010). 

Research demonstrates that career role models are particularly effective in engaging youth from underserved groups (Bell, Chetty, Jaravel, Petkova, & Reenan, 2017). 

Key components of afterschool programs, mentoring and exposure to STEM role models have been proven to effectively promote a sense of belonging in STEM, particularly for youth of color (Herrenkohl, Lee, Kong, Nakamura, Imani, Nasu, Hartman, Pennant, Tran, Wang, Eslami, Whittlesey, Whittlesey, Huynh, Jung, Batalon, Bell, & Taylor, 2019; Mroczkowski, Harris, & Skeeles-Worley, 2021).

AdamV. Maltese RobertH. Tai (2010) Eyeballs in the Fridge: Sources of early interest in science, International Journal of Science Education, 32:5, 669-685, DOI: 10.1080/09500690902792385
Bell, A., Chetty, R., Jaravel, X., Petkova, N., & Van Reenen, J. (2019). Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 134(2), 647-713.
Leslie Rupert Herrenkohl, Jiyoung Lee, Fan Kong, Susie Nakamura, Kimia Imani, Kari Nasu, Ansel Hartman, Benjamin Pennant, Elisa Tran, Everet Wang, Noushyar Panahpour Eslami, Daniel Whittlesey, David Whittlesey, Tri Minh Huynh, Allen Jung, Chris Batalon, Adam Bell & Katie Headrick Taylor (2019) Learning in Community for STEM Undergraduates: Connecting a Learning Sciences and a Learning Humanities Approach in Higher Education, Cognition and Instruction, 37:3, 327-348, DOI: 10.1080/07370008.2019.1624549
Mroczkowski, A. L., Price, C. A., Harris, N. C., & Skeeles-Worley, A. D. (2021). Youths’ Perceptions of Features of a Museum-Based Youth Development Program That Create a Supportive Community Context: A Qualitative Case Study. Journal of Adolescent Research.


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