Sen. Kaufman Visits Serviam Girls Academy to Promote AmeriCorps Week

Kaufman discusses importance of women in science and engineering


NEW CASTLE, Del. – In an effort to promote AmeriCorps Week and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) visited Serviam Girls Academy today in New Castle, Del.

Kaufman said to the class, “Your generation is so full of hope and energy, and there is a strong sense that you want, more than anything, to ‘make a difference.’ What I want to impart to you today is that, you can, especially if you go into science or engineering. Right now, when so many of the world’s problems need STEM solutions, you would be ready to lead the way.

“The most important piece of advice I can give you, however, is to consider pursuing a career in public service. After decades of working in public service, I never went home at night wondering if I was doing something meaningful with my life.”

The fourth annual AmeriCorps Week is observed from May 8-15, and seeks to motivate Americans to serve their communities and salute those who already give back in countless and invaluable ways. Serviam Girls Academy works with Public Allies Delaware, an AmeriCorps program, to place young leaders in non-profit organizations for 10 month apprenticeships. Every Friday, Public Allies Delaware meet for leadership development training.

Kaufman lauded the service program at Serviam saying, “AmeriCorps and Public Allies exemplify what it means to answer the call of duty and fulfill a meaningful purpose.”

“Allies are able to apply what they are learning in training to their placement at non-profits,” said Rachael Romond, a Public Ally at Serviam. “I have benefited a tremendous amount from participating in the Public Allies program both from working with other young leaders, the Public Allies Delaware staff, and my co-workers at Serviam. I am looking forward to continue to make a positive impact at Serviam and within the community next year as a Second Year Ally.”

“The partnership that we have formed with Public Allies has made such a difference in the quality of after-school programs we offer to our students,” said Stacy Solomon, Dean of Academics at Serviam. “Rachael is focused, dedicated and, most importantly, completely invested in developing fun and purposeful programs. She networks with other allies and gets them involved with our students. This spring, our students could choose from four cultural arts programs and three different sports. We could not offer this variety if not for the hard work of Rachael and her involvement with Public Allies program.”

In coordination with DuPont’s Office of Education, Kaufman assisted with a STEM educational lesson for 23 middle school students. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and is currently the Senate’s only former working engineer. Since taking office, he has worked on several pieces of legislation to promote STEM programs in schools.

“Serviam Girls Academy’s science students learn in a variety of exciting ways,” said Maureen Masters, a science teacher at Serviam. “In the classroom, students employ critical thinking and hands on labs to investigate scientific coursework. Technology is always included to scaffold greater understanding. Multimedia is woven into the instruction and is linked to each investigation. SGA uses the Web to access interactive sites with simulations, images, videos and text that enhance their understanding of scientific concepts.”

Kaufman and Public Allies Delaware highlighted STEM education at Serviam Girls Academy as a part of a national effort to increase minority and female participation in STEM careers. While women earn 58 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, they constitute less than 19 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded in engineering.

“Throughout the history of DuPont, the family and the corporation have promoted the value of education and led education reform efforts at all levels of learning,” said Peggy Vavalla, DuPont Education Liaison. “The DuPont Office of Education supports quality, inquiry-based, hands-on science programs in Delaware and in other communities where we operate. Providing programs that excite and interest students about engineering and science is one of the goals of our office. We want to capture the students’ interest and imagination so they understand the impact that engineering has in our world, from the technology of a cell phone to the science and manufacturing of renewable energy to learning how to feed the world. Science, engineering and mathematics go hand-in-hand with making our world a better place and increasing the safety and standard of living for many others in our world.”

Serviam Girls Academy is a Catholic middle school that empowers young women of diverse backgrounds, by providing an all-scholarship, college preparatory education.