Information for Parents

The EYH Parent Program is a time set aside for parents and educators to learn more about Chicago area programs and resources for their girls. We bring together a variety of local speakers to highlight education outreach programs, tools for high school success, and college-readiness resources. This program features a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career panel, as well as panelists from programming that includes before and after school and beyond. Our speakers welcome audience questions and provide handouts related to their programming.
For more STEM resources in the Chicago area, click here!


Registration for the parent program is open. Please register at this link.

 We welcome day-of-registration for the Parent Program.


9:00 am –   Opening remarks, MC introduction, Ice breaker
                    MC: Ja’Vida Ford
9:20 am –   Talks about high school/college prep:
                    Julia Dunn – high school STEM teacher
                    Diana Rodriguez – UIUC ACES pre-college programs
10:00 am – Keynote Speaker
                    Corlis Murray
10:25 am – Coffee, snack, & bathroom break
10:35 am – Science Activity #1
                    Parent group 1 :DNA: Discovering New Adventures in Genetics
                    Parent group 2: Green stormwater management: how it protects area lakes and rivers
11:25 am – Career Panel : Exploring the experiences of Women with STEM careers
                    Jess Freaner – Data Science & Design Lead at IDEO
                    Priscila Pereira – Doctoral student in Math at UIC
                    Hannah Lundberg – Assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Rush University
12:10 pm – Coffee, snack, & bathroom break
12:15 pm – Extracurricular Activities Panel/talks
                    Girls Who Code
                    Urban Alliance
                    Cards Against Humanity: Science Ambassador Scholarship
                    Project Syncere
1:25 pm –   Lunch (provided) – Speakers, panelists, and workshop leaders invited to attend
2:05 pm –  Science Activity #2
                   Parent group 2 :DNA: Discovering New Adventures in Genetics
                   Parent group 1: Green stormwater management: how it protects area lakes and rivers
2:50 pm –  Closing Remarks


Ja’Vida Ford

Ja’Vida Ford was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and attended Chicago Public Schools before pursuing a degree in English at Denison University in Ohio. She has a background in college admissions and is currently the manager of enrollment at Chicago Tech Academy High School.

High School/College Prep talks:

Julia Dunn
Diana Rodriguez

Keynote Speaker

Corlis Murray

Corlis D. Murray is a 28-year veteran of Abbott, a $20 billion global health care company, where she is responsible for the company’s engineering, regulatory, and quality assurance functions in more than 150 countries. She began her career at Abbott in 1989 and has held a number of senior roles, incl. senior manufacturing engineer, production manager, and engineering manager.

In 2012, Murray launched Abbott’s high school STEM internship program targeting underrepresented students. To date, nearly 90 young people have participated and 97 percent are pursuing a STEM degree or have a STEM job.

Corlis has been named to Black Enterprise’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business list twice and been named Black Engineer magazine’s Scientist of the Year. She was recognized by the Society of Women Engineers with its Advocating Women in Engineering award and by the Lions Academy for mentoring. She sits on the Clara Abbott Board of Directors and on multiple Abbott executive committees. Corlis holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering degree from Southern University.

Science Activities

DNA: Discovering New Adventures in Genetics
Erin McGinnis, Vicki Sanders

The goal of the activity is to introduce parents to a career in genetic counseling. The workshop will introduce basic genetic concepts and encourage participants to work through a real life scenario involving a patient who desires genetic testing.
Green stormwater management: how it protects area lakes and rivers
Catherine O’Connor

Our urban environment has paved much of our city, causing significant “runoff” rather than absorption of rain water. This runoff can pollute area streams and rivers. This workshop will provide a physical demonstration for how green infrastructure can improve water quality in area waterways while also providing air quality benefits and reduce the incidents of local flooding.

Career Panel

Jess Freaner
Jess is a Design Lead in the Data Science discipline at IDEO. Before joining IDEO, Jess was a data scientist consultant with IBM Advanced Analytics and Watson Experience where she was part of the ideation and execution of advanced analytics engagements for global Fortune 500 clients across industries. After receiving her BA in Psychology from New York University, she taught herself to code COBOL and worked more than four years in trade finance supporting an international client base. Outside of work, Jess loves to tinker and create, whether that means whipping up something new in the kitchen, DIY-ing a costume or getting down and dirty with her latest home improvement project.
Priscila Pereira
Born and raised in Brazil, Priscila is an advanced full-time PhD student in the Math and Science Education program dedicated to Mathematics Education. Her research focuses on the educational experiences of Black and Afro-Brazilian women in higher education in Brazil and the U.S. In particular, she is interested in the ways in which racial, gender and mathematical identities are co-constructed and influenced by academic experiences within and across different African Diasporic social and political contexts. Besides her student responsibilities, Priscila serves as the coordinator for the UIC Mentoring con GANAS program – a mentoring program for Latinx undergraduates in STEM offered by L@s GANAS. Priscila believes in living a holistic life-style, is a yoga practitioner and a health food enthusiast.
Hannah Lundberg
Hannah J. Lundberg, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Rush University. She is interested in the biomechanical function of human joints (natural and implanted). Her laboratory combines novel computational and experimental modalities to better represent joint function in vivo and improve surgical outcomes. Current emphases are using computer modeling to predict the following: Total knee replacement forces and behavior during everyday life, Wear of total knee replacements, Biomechanical behavior of total hip replacement modular taper junctions

Extracurricular Activities Talks 

Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization which aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science. The organization is working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. They have a 7-week Summer Immersion Program, a 2-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, and a 13-book New York Times best-selling series. The aim is to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.

Urban Alliance is a youth development organization that provides young people with the professional skills training and work experience needed to succeed in tomorrow’s labor market. By providing Urban Alliance youth with early, meaningful work, our Chicago business partners are helping to strengthen the school-to-work pipeline and prepare the next generation of leaders.
Since its inception in 2012, Urban Alliance has partnered with Chicago businesses to connect more than 500 high school students to paid, professional internships. Currently, the Chicago program works with over 80 professional job partners to serve students from 26 high schools throughout the city.

Cards Against Humanity is the self proclaimed “party game for horrible people”.  In addition to their best-selling, original deck of cards, they sell a Science Pack expansion deck that funds scholarships for outstanding women in science, technology, engineering, and math. To date they have funded two full-ride scholarships and created a community of mentors and students who work in STEM fields.

Project Syncere provides a curriculum that integrates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through the use of project-based learning.  Project SYNCERE’s staff assists and coaches students in scientific inquiry, directing them to deeper levels of understanding. These actions have helped students by raising their test scores, improving their critical thinking and problem solving skills and increasing their overall enthusiasm for school. Students use prior knowledge and technology to solve real world problems. Project SYNCERE is designed to serve students in grades 1-12.