Cracking the Code
When other kids were at the pool or the mall, Alexandria McCuien was at academic summer camps. When they were playing video games, Alexandria was figuring out how they worked. You guessed it, Alexandria is enthusiastic about careers in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math.
Alexandria has always been interested in math and science. She absolutely loved going to school and learning as much as she could from these subjects. Having an amazing support system of her mom, family, friends, teachers, and church family really helped encourage her throughout the years.
In ninth grade, she got to attend a program where she got to work with software at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. This sparked an interest in computer science! Later she earned a BS degree in computer science and minored in math and web design. Recently she even earned a certificate in Decision Support Systems. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s now working on getting her master’s degree in business administration.
Only 27 percent of women work in computer- or math-related fields, a Department of Labor study found. That may be because they never signed up for the right courses. Andrea can attests that there are not enough women involved in STEM classes, and even less in the workplace.
Because she’s so happy in her career, she feel like it’s her duty to encourage young girls to pursue careers in STEM. At her church, there is a tutoring session for elementary school students. There she constantly takes the opportunity to remind them “there is nothing wrong with math and science.”