Hi! I'm Laila! Let me tell you a little about Marian Middle School:

  • Marian serves girls of high potential but limited resources.
  • Marian makes a 12-year commitment to students, following us from fifth grade through career success.
  • Our school's motto is, "Once a Marian Girl, Always a Marian Girl!"
  • Marian focuses on the whole person by fostering our academic, social, spiritual, moral, emotional, and physical development.
  • Students travel from 20+ zip codes to get a life-altering education.
  • 96% are minority students and 94% qualify for free and reduced-fee meals.


Now, let me tell you how this project started: 

In 2014, my fifth grade class was given an assignment. We were asked to measure bookshelves and create scale drawings to figure out where the bookshelves would fit in Marian's new library. As curious and ambitious fifth graders, we wanted the space to be so much more than a library! We wanted it to be a place to discover, develop, design, and deliver. We dreamed of a space equipped with power tools and a 3D printer. Our assignment evolved into plans to renovate the school’s entire lower level into a STEM Innovation Center!


The Need

Marian’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty through education so our teachers must prepare us for 21st century careers. Those careers require mastery of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Marian began teaching STEM as a stand-alone class in 2011. Since then, STEM has become an interdisciplinary way of learning, teaching, and thinking. All classes, including language arts and social studies, incorporate STEM because multifaceted, rather than compartmentalized, lessons are more valuable and reflect real life.

While we have innovative teachers and driven students, the physical space, technology, equipment, and tools at our school is limiting and does not allow us to fully explore core subject matter, let alone fields such as engineering, robotics, and computer programming.


Did you know?

  • STEM jobs are growing nearly twice as much as other occupations.
  • Women make up about 50% of the U.S. workforce, but only 29% of the science and engineering workforce.
  • Hispanics and African Americans make up 27% of the workforce, but only 11% of the science and engineering workforce.

STEM jobs are some of the highest paying jobs in the community and there is a shortage of workers that are prepared to fill those positions. These higher paying jobs represent an opportunity for students like me, but the reality is that women and people of color are poorly represented in STEM careers. Together, we can diversify the STEM industry and break the cycle of poverty for Marian Girls!


Let me tell you about our plans!

We have a $50,000 challenge grant. We need your help secure those funds and transform our school into a state-of-the-art STEM learning center! We are:

  • Purchasing innovative technology and tools
  • Preparing our teachers through professional development
  • Updating the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC
  • Replacing the floors and ceilings
  • Updating fixtures
  • Replacing furniture and equipment


Let's get to the results!

Updating the physical infrastructure and adding innovative technology, equipment, and tools throughout our building will provide Marian Girls like me with a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as other subjects. The space will equip us for future STEM classes and careers by:

  1. Boosting active and experiential learning
  2. Encouraging excitement in addressing perplexing problems
  3. Inspiring exploration and creativity
  4. Motivating scientific discovery
  5. Increasing student achievement, engagement, interest, and participation
  6. Preparing students for a technology-rich future.

The knowledge we gain through Marian's STEM Program will empower us to pursue careers in STEM. STEM jobs offer us a way to break the cycle of poverty, while at the same time helping to diversify an industry and meet the demand for more STEM-ready workers!


"Okay! So how can I help?!" you might be asking yourself... 

Well here's the best part! We already have more than half this project funded and construction is under way. We're asking you to rally the troops and help us complete this fundraiser. If you fall into one of these three categories, here's an easy way to help: 

  • Are you a person? Please consider donating and sharing this campaign with everyone you know! 
  • Do you have a business? Sponsor us with a matching donation! We'll put your logo on our page and tell donors you're helping them double their impact. 
  • Are you a reporter and celebrity? Help spread the word! Write about us and invite us on your show if you have one (Ellen, we're talking to you).