FREDERICK, Md. -- Soldiers from the 780th Military Intelligence (MI) Brigade (Cyber), Soldiers from the Medical Corps, and a team from the U.S. Naval Academy, supported a Maryland STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Festival event to encourage teen girls to consider a career in the fields of STEM at Frederick High School on October 24.

Since September the brigade has supported three Maryland STEM Festival events including two at the Odenton Library and one at Bowie State University.

"The Maryland STEM festival is an annual celebration of STEM that takes place for a month all across the state of Maryland," said Phil Rogofsky, director of the Maryland STEM Festival. "It is a collection of small activities, some only a few people and some into the hundreds."

"It is really important for us to get out to high schools and college students, women in particular, because cyber is a growing field and it is very important that girls are well-represented there," said Maj. Rachell Baca, a cyber operations officer (17A) and the executive officer of the 780th MI Brigade. "Their world is wide open in front of them and giving them the opportunity to ask their questions from individuals who are not actually trying to recruit them is a really wonderful opportunity."

For the other brigade Soldiers, they volunteered for similar reasons.

"I wanted these bright, ambitious girls to know they have all the options in the world as to what they do after high school," said Sgt. Joann Jones, a cyber operations specialist (17C) with the 780th MI Brigade. "Where I grew up everyone was content with being very poor… Thankfully, I met individuals who inspired me to never settle or lower my standards because I am female and I hope we were able to help these girls realize that as well."

"I believe we should nurture curious minds with our trials and triumphs in order to help them customize their own experiences. The STEM professions are key to our society's development and growth," said Sgt. 1st Class Shtina Love, an all-source intelligence analyst (35F) with the 780th MI Brigade. "It is imperative that we showcase the ability to excel in these areas is not gender based, but heart based. Strong will, commitment, and dedication can create success for all who are willing to take a risk on their passions."

Throughout 2019, the 780th MI Brigade has been supporting various STEM events throughout the country including three Anne Arundel County Public Library events; a career night at Seven Oaks Elementary, Md.; CyberPatriot clubs at Meade High, Md., and Leileihua High School, Hawaii; CyberPatriot Cyber Camps in Maryland and Georgia; events at Morgan State University, Md., Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania, Norwich University, Vermont, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; the national JROTC convention in Washington, D.C.; and two "Meet Your Army" events in Boston and Atlanta.

The next event the brigade is supporting is a teen-only STEM 'Hackathon' on Nov. 12 from 4-7:30 p.m. at Odenton Library. Parents can register their teens at https://www.aacpl.net/location/odenton.

To read about the last 'Hackathon' event read the Army.mil article at https://www.army.mil/article/227419/learning_tools_outside_the_classroom_780th_mi_hosts_free_educational_hackathon.