Toyota invests in STEM education and Alabama’s young women

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- In an effort to further expose young women in Alabama to career fields in science, technology, engineering and math, Toyota presented a $150,000 check this morning.

The Toyota USA foundation is helping to grow Tech Trek, a week-long STEM based camp for rising eighth grade girls.

Toyota Alabama President David Fernandes said the company wants to empower young women in Alabama to reach for those STEM fields.

"If they can get a grasp of how important it is, and how they can actually contribute and the confidence they can build through a program like this, then hopefully that will keep them interested in pursuing a career," he explained.

The Huntsville Tech Trek camp is held at UAH in the summer. UAH President Dr. Robert Altenkirch said they are happy to have them.

"It's important to get young girls involved so that they don't drop out too early. Because once you stop taking mathematics, it's very hard to recover," he said.

Aditi Limaye took part in Tech Trek two years ago. She calls it an inspiring experience. Her favorite part?

"Definitely professional women's night!  It was just really cool seeing all those women that have done something amazing with their lives, despite a lot of obstacles that they've come from," she said.

Obstacles like succeeding in statistically male dominated fields.

"I think a lot of girls don't necessarily realize how many opportunities they can have with their lives, and what they can do. So I think camps like this can expose them to new ideas," said Limaye.

And, she said, encourage them to see that STEM opportunities are achievable.