CWM 2012R
Essay Winners

The "I Want to be Like Her" essays are a chance for girls to read about the success stories of women in mathematics. They then write a short essay on why they could look up to and follow women who have oversome hardships and striven for success in their fields. The five essays below were chosen from all of the essays submitted as the winners in this years celebration.

1st Place :: Marcilla Demry :: Bertie STEM High School
Denise Stephenson Hawk:: Board Member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Denise Stephenson Hawk is an intelligent, strong woman.  Despite the odds that were against her, she preserved and worked hard towards what she wanted.  Hawk was determined.  I want to be like her; strong willed.  I want to show persistence through everything I do.  I don’t want a job.  I want a career.  Denise knew exactly what she wanted.  Although she had various jobs, she didn’t stay in just one particular place.  She worked, received various awards, taught and inspired.  She has inspired me to work towards my goals.  I can relate to her because we both grew up not with much.  She didn’t have much, but this never discouraged her.  She always knew what was in store for her.  What is hers is hers and no one can take that away.  If you really want something, no one and nothing can stop you, not even you.  I want to work in the field of science and mathematics.  I don’t know specifically what I want to do yet, but that’s okay because what’s mine is mine, and no one can take that away.  I want to work, receive awards, teach and inspire.  I want people, specifically young women and people of color to look at me one day and say “Wow, she is so hardworking and intelligent.  I want to be like her.”

Your challenges and flaws doesn’t determine who you are, but how you over come those challenges determine who you are.  I always say that the main goal in life is to better the world.  Better yourself, those around you and others.

“I want to be like her.”  Intelligence, determination, disciplined and fierce.  Those are the traits I must possess to achieve my goals. 

I want to inspire people who inspire people who inspire people. “I want to be like her.”

2nd Place :: Daijah Kanen :: 7th Grade :: River Road Middle School
Fern Hunt :: Professor of Mathematics, Mathematics Department at Howard University

I want to be like Fern Hunt because she uses math in her everyday life.  She thinks of math as internal structure.  She has been very successful with using math to solve problems in biology.  Fern Hunt takes on being responsible of teaching, administrative duties, and research.  Fern is a role model for me because she takes on a lot but manages her time.  She loves math and learns more from people everybody.  Fern loves learning and discussing ideas with people, just like me.  Mathematics help you create is what me and Fern Hunt both think about math.  Fern Hunt inspires me to take on more challenges and to have great teamwork.  Fern knows the beauty in math and so do I.

3rd Place :: Kiana Morgan :: 11th Grade :: Bertie Early College High School
Lenore Jackson :: User Consultant / Information Specialist, NASA

Denise Stephenson Hawk is a very big inspiration to many.  I would aspire to be just like her for numerous reasons.  The main reason that I aspire and admire her is the simple fact that she overcame many boundaries in her lifetime where most people would settle for less she knew that she could be somebody.  Just like her she had a very strong support system such as myself because her mother stood up for her child and wanted her to be in the advanced college courses.  In conclusion I would like to say that this is an amazing women and I hope to be as successful or higher in life as she is.

4th Place :: Jordan A. Mitchell :: 6th Grade :: Central Middle School
Fern Hunt:: Professor of Mathematics, Howard University

I want to be like Fern Hunt, because not many people think of math the same way I do.  Most dread math class, but I love going to my 3rd period math class.  I admire her interest in mathematics, and if someday, I’ll ever get a chance to meet her, it would be my honor.

“Mathematics can be appreciated for its beauty of interval structure.” – Fern Hunt

This quote means something to me.  When I read this to myself.  I think: There has been a breakthrough, someone finally realize just how much math means to me.

Honorable Mention :: Mercede Williams :: 8th Grade :: River Road Middle School
Fern Hunt:: Professor of Mathematics, Howard University

I would like to be like Fern Hunt, because she is a hard worker and she loves mathematics, which I do to. My favorite subject in school is math. Her work focuses on a branch of mathematics called dynamical systems, which forms the conceptual basis for such phenomena as chaos and fractals. That's pretty much what I would like to go to school for and to study. Ever since I was a little girl I've always wanted to be a math teacher, I used to make my little sisters act like my students and I would reach them. At Howard Ferns responsibilities included teaching, administrative duties, and research, one of her responsibilities that I like most is teaching. That's why I would like to be like her.

CWM 2012