Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, is integral to the success of the State of Arkansas and the nation. Yet with women making up more than half the workforce, they account for less than 25 percent of STEM jobs, according to STEMconnector.

And as early as 2018, the nation faces a skills shortage of 230,000 STEM employees.

Walmart, in partnership with Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin and the Texarkana, Arkansas School District, is leading the initiative for the state to change the trend through the Million Women Mentors© (MWM) program. MWM supports the engagement of one million Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) mentors (male and female) to increase the interests and confidence of middle school and high school girls to persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers.

A special event to launch the initiative will be held Monday, December 12, at 10AM at the Red Wall on the Arkansas High School Campus. Texarkana area leadership, STEM industry leadership, and youth organization leadership are encouraged to attend. The event is free and open to the public.

With a state goal of pledging 5,000 mentors, the program will support the engagement of one million STEM mentors to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women to persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers. MWM is an initiative of STEMconnector in collaboration with more than 60 national partners, 45 corporate sponsors and 35 state teams.

For more information about the MWM program in Texarkana, contact Diana Lowe, TASD Director of Secondary Curriculum at (870) 772-3371.