NeXXt Scholars initiative for women to Pursue STEM Careers




Inaugural group of 24 NeXXt Scholars, 12 international women and 12 American women were welcome and the U.S. Department of State was pleased. These scholars began their undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) studies at 8 women’s colleges in the US.

An increase in opportunities for young women around the world to advance in STEM careers is what the NeXXt Scholars Initiative seeks. In partnership with 38 U.S. women’s colleges, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), EducationUSA, and the New York Academy of Sciences, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched the initiative in December 2011

Increasing opportunities for women from countries with a Muslim-majority population is what the NeXXt Scholars initiative focuses  on by partnering with women’s colleges. It helps women to access a hands-on, inquiry-based STEM undergraduate education in the United States. This is in response to Secretary Clinton’s center mission of educating and advancing women worldwide. Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Columbia College, Douglass Residential College at Rutgers University, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Wilson College are where the NeXXt Scholars are attending.

Through State Department-supported EducationUSA advising centers the international students in the inaugural class were nominated. EducationUSA advising centers will provide educational advising and support to international students interested in studying in the US. Young women from Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories (Gaza and West Bank), Tunisia, and Turkey represented the first class. In addition, each college matriculating an international NeXXt Scholar has selected an American peer to partner with her. Together, these STEM-Sisters will receive career support services from the New York Academy of Sciences. A five-year Academy membership, a personal STEM mentor from the Academy, and opportunities for participation in network building and soft-skills development workshops are included in this STEM-enrichment program.

By providing a strong background in STEM education, offering leadership training while fostering mutual respect and understanding across cultures, and building a strong network of women scientists, engineers, and innovators to together solve tomorrow’s global challenges this initiative seeks to encourage and empower young women. Outreach to the second cohort of NeXXt Scholars is currently underway for college matriculation in the fall of 2013.

For more information, interested parties should contact their local EducationUSA adviser.

Secretary Clinton’s NeXXt Scholars Launch remarks are available online.

For more information about the NeXXt Scholars Initiative, please email or visit:

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