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DOT to Universities: Get on Board with Transportation YOU


On the heels of the DC Youth Summit and US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood's presentation to attendees, the following letter was sent to the DOT's designated University Transportation Centers.


The American Association for University Women has asserted that low self-esteem will have a detrimental effect on girl’s future achievements.  AAUW has also shown that girls’ self-esteem drops significantly as they make the transition from middle school to high school.  By high school, adolescent girls were less confident of their math and science abilities, were less interested in math and science courses, and expressed much lower career aspirations than adolescent boys.   Exposing girls to successful female role models can help counter these effects, because girls see that people like them can be successful.

To make a difference in the lives of young girls, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Women’s Transportation Seminar entered into a Memorandum of Cooperation to advance women with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) backgrounds in the field of transportation.  Under the auspices of this agreement, Transportation YOU Initiative, a hands-on, interactive career exploration program for girls 13 to 18, was established.  The goal of this program is to expose the mentee to the many aspects of the transportation industry through transportation professionals.  I’m encouraging those universities to get involved with your local WTS Chapter and either serve as mentors or have your undergraduate or graduate students work with girls  to instill them with the confidence, interest and awareness of the wide array of career opportunities within STEM.   

To locate a WTS local chapter in your area, click-on https://www.wtsinternational.org/.  There will be a drop down list on the right side of the screen to view chapters in the United States.  To learn more about Transportation YOU, click-on http://www.transportationyou.org/.


Dawn Tucker-Thomas, U.S. Department of Transportation

Research and Innovative Technology Administration



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