CHICAGO (WLS) -- A daughter's love of science prompted a Chicago mom to take action. She created Girls 4 Science, an all-girls initiative focusing on STEM.
More than 500 girls have gone through the program in the city's Pullman neighborhood. The founder is hoping to educate 500 more.
"Girls 4 Science has opened a lot of opportunities for me," Nakia Chappelle said.
Chappelle is one of many of girls spending Saturdays learning STEM programs with Girls 4 Science.
"It's just time outside of the classroom that I get to do what I love such as learning about science engineering, technology and math. I'm able to connect with a lot of my friends that are interested in the same thing as me," Chapelle said.
Girls 4 Science founder Jackie Lomax created the non-profit to introduce young girls to female pioneers in science and technology.
"All teachers are first class subject matter experts they work in all various industries of STEM. They're educators, some of them are mothers, fathers that follow the program and they lend their success stories to our students," Lomax said.
The free program runs on a quarterly basis and tackles topics straight from the headlines.
"The Flint water issue made us asses the safety of drinking and to just learn more about one of our qualities of life," Lomax said.
Lomax has seen an uptick in interest with the popularity of "Hidden Figures" and hopes to expand to give more girls the opportunity to learn.
"We consider science, technology, engineering and math to be in all aspects of our lives and so we just want to continue to expose the girls, empower them and hopefully even employ them," Lomax said.
Girls 4 Science is for ages 10 to 18.
The program has a 100 percent graduation rate and college placement.
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