Free screening of “Hidden Figures” to city students inspires STEM careers

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –  A group of Western New York girls are getting an exclusive look at what it takes to take on a career in science, math and technology.

More than 250 Buffalo Public School students and Girl Scouts got a private screening of “Hidden Figures,” the story of three African American women who were the brains behind one of the greatest space launches in history.

Danya Flood, a part of the STEM coding camp program, says one-day, she wants to fix broken hearts. “I want to become a cardiothoracic surgeon,” she said.

A big dream, she’s confident she can tackle. She said, “It keeps you living, and to be able to hold that in your hand and fix it, if it’s broken, and make everything better.”

She said “Hidden Figures” inspired her to defy the odds. She said, “They learn to become that minority that makes something different, and big, they’re the first of their kind to actually do it. They may not get the credit, but they know they’re the ones that did it, so that’s all that matters to them.”

Flood is one of 250 public school students and girl scouts who are at the Regal Center to get this private screening. It’s all to inspire and encourage young women to have the confidence to pursue their stem dreams.

Flood said, “It makes me want to get out there and start doing stuff in the world that I didn’t think I could do. Now I have the courage to do it, and I know that nothing can stop me.”

Organizers behind this event say they’re trying to close the gender gap. Kevin Hanna, Director of External Affairs for AT&T said, “We’re looking for our future workforce, and they’re here. And they will be here in the theater, so we want to expose them to to STEM to learn more to encourage them.”

Cherie Messore from WNY STEM Hub said, “Well the ladies here today comprise our next generation work force. Western New York’s economy is so tied to technology with our medical campus, with all of the businesses coming who want to embrace all the assets in Western New York.”

For Flood, she says says the role of women is changing, and she wants to be a part of that. She said, “They weren’t really seen and now they’re seen and now they’re becoming the majority instead of the minority.”

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