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Women in Mathematics Day - I want to be Like Her Essays
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.

Essay 1st1st Place :: Kaisi Peele :: 12th :: Hertford County High School

Her Name: Denise Stephenson-Hawk
Her Occupation: College Professor
Employer or Department where she works: Spellman College

Denise Stephenson-Hawk is a very inspirational woman.  As a child, Denise had many obstacles to overcome.  Through all the trials and triumphs, she succeeded.  I desire to be like Denise because she represents so much.  Denise was only one of two women to over receive a Ph.D. in her program at Princeton University.  I want to be like Denise because she beat all offs.  Denise possesses a drive that many people wish to have.  Once you find something that you are good at, you stick with it and use it to help you be great. Being a woman is a task within itself, so when you allow yourself to make inspirational advancements, that speaks volumes.  I want to accomplish my goals just as Denise did.  When you are put in thought = situations, that should make you work even harder to prove those who doubted you wrong.  Giving up was never an option for Denise.  With that being said, I will never allow myself to do less than what I am capable of.

Essay 2nd2nd Place :: Shekinah Gonzales :: 10th :: C.S. Brown High School STEM

Her Name: Denise Stephenson-Hawk
Her Occupation: Teacher/Scientist
Employer or Department where she works: NOAA

Denise Stephenson-Hawk is a woman with a heart full of determination.  Her accomplishments are profound and her ability to surpass obstacles are remarkable.  Like many among us today, Denise was born in a small town in North Carolina.  The schools she attended were segregated and her family was poor.  However, she never let anything stand in the way of her education.  Denise was a stellar student despite discrimination.  Once she reached high school, the schools were integrated.  She had to work herd to receive the opportunities that others were given.  Dr. Stephenson-Hawk was committed to receiving and being the best.  She remained optimistic regardless of the difficulties she met in life, and as I learn about her and her journey I’d like to do the same.  Dr. Stephenson-Hawk above racial tension and not being accepted by many.  She was not accepted because of the color of her skin, but she didn’t let it become a barrier and has inspired me to not do the same.  Ms. Stephenson-Hawk is a true women of mathematics.  She not only learned what was taught but went after what wasn’t.  She then went on to teach the knowledge she acquired at the numerous colleges she attended, and her kind character undeniably left a mark in the mind of the students she educated.  As the first black woman to receive a Ph.D. in her choice of study at Princeton University, her skills, expertise and talents are amazing.  I want to be like her.

Essay 3rd3rd Place :: Anyanna Jones :: 10th :: C.S. Brown High School STEM

Her Name: Debbie Schenberger
Her Occupation: Mechanical Engineer
Employer or Department where she works: NASA

Debbie Schenberger is a woman who pushed herself to prove she can do anything she put her mind to.  No matter how many times people told her math was too “difficult” for her she kept going.  Although Schenberger’s friends switched their majors in college she continued to pursue a science major.  As a result, she was the only woman in her class by her senior year.
Mrs. Schenberger is now a mechanical engineer for NASA. While working she still manages to be a mother to her children. Debbie Schenberger is someone I want to be like because she followed her dreams.  Not only that, but she also took the words others spoke to her and made it something good.  I feel as though these words were used as inspiration.  Inspiration to become a woman who could accomplish anything.
Obstacles and challenges are thrown at us everyday.  However we have to take them as they come.  As women we have to strive to be the best.  We are to show the world that men are not the only ones who can be an engineer, a scientist, or a mathematician.  This is what Schenberger did by staying in a college class with all men.  This is what she did by working hard and being dedicated to science.  Schenberger dedication is why I aspire to be like her.

Essay 4Honorable Mention :: Jordan Mitchell :: 8th :: Central Middle School

Her Name: Denise Stephenson-Hawk
Her Occupation: Teacher/Scientist
Employer or Department where she works: NOAA

I want strive for and obtain what is best for me and nothing less.  I want to surpass obstacles no matter how impossible it appears to be.  I want to accept myself in such a way that being accepted by this cruel society is irrelevant to say the least.  I want to solve math problems and not let problems, problem me.  I want to accomplish goals that I would have never deemed obtainable.  I want to do the unimaginable.  I want to be the unimaginable.   I want to be as diligent, conscientious, hard working, strong-willed, and confident as Dr. Stephenson- Hawk.  I want to be like her.  I will walk down the trail she blazed with gratitude.  I will be like her.
CWM 2012