Mayim Bialik is more than just a brainy neurobiologist on the TV show The Big Bang Theory; she also holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience in real life. Like many girls, Mayim says she was hesitant about pursuing an education in science. But she has said that she fell in love with science during her role on the TV show Blossom.
Luckily for her, during her time on the show, she had a biology tutor that encouraged her to pursue her dreams. Today, Mayim works to motivate young women to think like innovators and become inspired by career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
11:11am Nora Kramer, YEA Camp
Sleep-away camp: one of the great American rites of passage. The days-, weeks-, or months-long retreat to the wilderness that your adolescent self either excitedly anticipated or anxiously awaited (but almost always turned out to be really awesome). The adventure of living in a new setting and meeting new kids from other places. The allure of becoming friends with seemingly impossibly cool people in their high teens or early twenties (counselors) who would never have hung out with you otherwise.
Generally speaking, summer camp is a blast for kids and teenagers. But what about the precocious ones who want to do something beyond campfires and kickball? The ones who care about animals, the environment, or human rights? Who see meat-laden menus or social clique-ing and think, “No thanks!”?
Nora Kramer, a veteran volunteer experienced in grassroots activism, came to their rescue in 2009 when, in grand activist tradition, she organized the solution herself: Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp, which started as a single location in Oregon and has expanded to locations in California and New Jersey. In many ways it’s like a typical summer camp, with games and community-building and outdoorsy stuff. What’s different is that the kids spend much of their time learning to become better advocates for the causes that matter most to them. And the mess hall isn’t so much of an ethical mess, since it’s 100% vegan.