As a child I always wanted to be in science, in mathematics or anything that involved solving problems. I was a 4-year old child when I joined kindergarten. Always fascinated by new beginnings, I was first in a competition that year and have always been one of the top three in academic performance since then. I passed challenges successfully as I advanced in school. I also participated in extracurricular activities and won some awards too. I then thought I would solve anything as long as I gave attention to it and was only waiting for opportunities to show others what was on my mind. Then last year I got that opportunity when I joined the STEM Centre in university. Finally the time had come to show others what had been fermenting in my mind for the last few years. “I would do things differently!” was the promise I made myself when I took the first step in the Centre.
Curious of the new world around me, I begun exploring. It was very fascinating and inspiring. Lucky for me the courses were taken in rounds. I got the chance to explore every section, and all of them were interesting. Biology was special; the course was interesting and I wanted to apply mechanics. So I took some of the biological processes and applied them to physics. The idea seemed perfect. But as time passed, things didn’t go as I expected them to go. It seems unlikely that I could do the project exactly the same as nature itself. Trial after trial, I found it difficult to put together things exactly as they were in my mind and meet my expectations perfectly. I saw others doing this happily as I got more and more frustrated. I wasn’t successful enough to think I was meant to do this. I thought it was just my imagination that was keeping me from succeeding. Maybe I was only good at academics. But the most important thing I did then was that I didn’t give up trying. I was sure enough about my interest and pushed myself in that direction.
Then, I participated in the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures program. I joined this program because I wanted to find a better understanding of the STEM world. I was not wrong on that. I was assigned a mentor and met a larger crowd. I was very surprised when I find out how I and the girls in this program have a lot in common. With the help of my mentor and the activities in the program, I overcame my negative ideas. This program has made me well informed and helps me keep inspired.
Now I am able to take mistakes as a learning experience and not as a failure. Now I can take no as an answer and turn it into motivation to do more. I will continue my projects without worrying about the outcome. I am doing what I wanted to do since I was a child and I am now more than ready to take the journey in STEM.
Written By: Mahlet Dereje Haile, Mentee in 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures