STL Industry Women (and Two Guys) Step Up for MO S&T Girls’ Program

By on October 9, 2018

Last Friday (Oct. 5) over 400 7th and 8th grade girls from around the state converged on the campus of MO S&T to participate in the 19th annual Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) conference.

But the program almost didn’t happen. A major national company which had underwritten the program in previous years could no longer supply funding. At that point five women construction business owners from the St. Louis area (and two male owners) stepped into the breach. The organizers were considering cancelling, when Construction Forum STL’s Construction Forum Education Foundation suggested that a reach-out to the construction industry might fill the breach.

The conference introduces girls in 7th and 8th grade to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The girls participating in the one-day conference attend hands-on workshops, meet other young women with similar interests, learn about career opportunities and interact with women working in traditionally male-dominated fields.

The construction women stepping up to fund the program were Patty Ahrens, president, Ahrens Contracting; DeAnna Bender-Helfer, president, P&A Drywall; Pam Duffy, president, Rhodey Construction; and Catherine Taylor-Yank, president, Jim Taylor Roofing. Also assisting were Tom Kuhn, CEO, Millstone Weber (PHL Foundation) and Tom Seiler, vice president, Seiler Instrument.  Altogether, they contributed $7,000 to fund EYH.

Last Friday Sue Turner, director and Michelle Wiginton, coordinator global learning from Professional and Continuing Education at MO S&T arranged a special thank you to the sponsors from the girls attending EYH.

Editor’s Note: This article posting originally neglected to mention the donation from Seiler Instrument and incorrectly stated the total raised as $6,500. A total of $7,000 was raised. regrets the omission and error.

About Tom Finan