Via: My Sweet Charity

By: Jeanne Prejean

While all the world seemed to be whirling around thanks to the pandemic last year, the Lyda Hill Philanthropies was keeping a steady keel in its endeavors to provide girls with the resources to flourish in the future thanks to technology. The philanthropical arm of Lyda Hill worked with the Texas Women’s Foundation to provide more than $630K to area non-profits “to creatively use the IF/THEN Collection assets to increase the visual representation of women in STEM and inspire the next generation of STEM pioneers in North Texas.”

Established in 2019, IF /THEN® Collection is “the world’s largest free resource of authentic and relatable photos, video and biographies celebrating diverse, contemporary women in STEM careers and roles.” Available free of charge “for non-commercial purposes,” the Collection is to “highlight and elevate these STEM role models in order to inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers.”

According to Lyda, “The IF/THEN® Fund at the Texas Women’s Foundation establishes a new collaboration between the two organizations that advances gender equity for today’s young girls and builds future equity and leaders across North Texas. The goal is for girls everywhere to see STEM as exciting, relevant and cool, and seeding the visual world around us with images of relatable women is key to making this happen. Because IF she can see it, THEN she can be it.”

Organizations applied for the grants in November and awards were made earlier this year for the selected non-profits  (A Chance to Learn/Motivated Mom, Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas County, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County, Communities In Schools Dallas Region Inc., Dallas Afterschool (DAS), Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society Inc., Dallas Zoological Society, Design Connect Create, Fort Worth Zoological Association, Friends of Solar Prep, Frontiers of Flight Museum, GEMS Camp, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Girls Inc. of Tarrant County, Jubilee Park and Community Center, Junior Players Guild, National Math and Science Initiative, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Readers 2 Leaders, REAL School Gardens DBA Out Teach,  Shared Housing Center,  TalkSTEM, TeCo Theatrical Productions Inc. DBA Bishop Arts Theatre Center, United to Learn, Uplift Education, Young Women’s Preparatory Network and Young Women’s STEAM Academy at Balch Springs Middle School/Dallas ISD Foundation) got to work to create all types of projects like “printing banners and posters, updating marketing materials, including assets in programming and more.”

The reviews are already coming in from the grant recipients.

As Perot Museum Eugene McDermott CEO Dr. Linda Silver put it, “The Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s Whynauts series represents the future of creative exploration. Students engage the inspirational world of science at home or in the classroom, meeting real-life scientist heroes and discovering their possible science futures today. We are deeply grateful for the vision and support of Texas Women’s Foundation and Lyda Hill Philanthropies that have helped make The Whynauts possible.”

GEMS Camp Founder/Executive Director Saki Milton added, “Texas Women’s Foundation continues to find innovative ways to support historically marginalized girls with quality programming in all areas. The new IF/THEN® Fund will help the GEMS Camp and other nonprofits provide girls with diverse STEM career role models in a creative, visual way. We are honored to receive this reward.”

If the undertaking goes as planned providing multi-lingual messages, it “is expected to reach 250,000 students this year in classrooms, non-profit organizations and homes across Texas.”

Admitting that not all touched by grants will result in nuclear scientists, Texas Women’s Foundation President CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson suggested, “Whether the outcome is a girl embarking on a STEM career with role models to guide her path, the introduction of STEM in a way that ignites curiosity and ambition among students who haven’t previously considered STEM careers, or elevation of the representation of women in STEM, Texas Women’s Foundation is honored to partner with Lyda Hill Philanthropies IF/THEN® Initiative to collaborate in advancing gender equity for today’s girls and tomorrow’s STEM leaders.”

And that is what philanthropy and collaboration is all about.