The White House honored 14 individuals as 'Champions of Change' for leading the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math for people with disabilities in education and employment.
Included in the honors was Virginia “Jinny” Stern, former director of the AAAS Entry Point! program for her work over four decades to increase opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for persons with disabilities. When Stern and her colleagues at AAAS launched Entry Point! in 1996, they recognized that talented students with disabilities need more than legislation and degrees to gain employment in their chosen fields. Hundreds of the program’s alumni have participated in high-level internships with government agencies and industry, and they continue to advance in the nation’s STEM workforce.
“These leaders are proving that when the playing field is level, people with disabilities can excel in STEM, develop new products, create scientific inventions, open successful businesses, and contribute equally to the economic and educational future of our country,” said Kareem Dale, associate director at the White House Office of Public Engagement and special assistant to President Barack Obama for disability policy.
The Champions of Change program, part of the president’s Winning the Future initiative, honors educators, entrepreneurs, and community leaders for their work to serve and strengthen their communities. You can watch the presentation here.