Who are you, your company/organization (quick bio)?
Brian Newberry is the CEO of Girl Scouts, Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. Our council serves eastern Washington and northern Idaho for a total of covering 67,000 square miles. We energetically serve approximately 3,500 girls in kindergarten through 12th grade with the help of 2,000 dedicated adult volunteers and an expert staff of 35. We are the preeminent leadership development organization for girls in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. Brian previously served as an Air Force veteran for 23 years and believes in this community to have a bright future.
What role/or industry do you represent on the STEM Executive Committee?
The importance of STEM for our youth leadership. Girl Scouts is committed to getting 2.25 million girls into the STEM network by 2025 giving Girls courage, confidence and character to embrace the sciences and mathematics infusing creativity into solving community problems. I hope to be an active voice for expanding STEM in innovative and creative ways.
What does STEM mean to you? And why do you feel STEM is important?
STEM means to me reaching for the stars. STEM is why we got to the moon, STEM is how we solve the COVID-19 crisis. STEM is immutable scientific principles that when discovered and applied, make our community better. That is the science but STEM is also an art form on how you learn STEM, apply it and make it a fabric of our lives. Girl Scouting is a life journey of leadership building that infuses STEM into the journey helping to inspire more STEM experts to join the career force. STEM and the creative application of it is how we advance ourselves to new frontiers, new horizons and a better future.
Looking ahead, what would 1-2 things would you like to see happen in Spokane?
Girl Scouts is launching a STEM Mobile to reach our rural areas but it can also visit Spokane to entice more youth to be interested in pursuing STEM careers. Beyond our own efforts and that of other organizations spearheading STEM initiatives, it would be ideal to see more organized support for robotics and other youth STEM pursuits. Mobius and other community organizations are leading the way to increase STEM activities. As a community, us jumping on board in an organized manner, using the inertia of the STEM network, is the best way ahead to accelerate our STEM activities to light speed!
Why is it important to have a regional leadership team for statewide work?
Regionally we have characteristics different from other areas—our area is different from Tricities and is different from Seattle. If we can shape our efforts regionally to be unified, we can more easily connect the jigsaw puzzle of regions together to complete the best STEM picture. Team STEM Washington starts at grassroots level and that is why our STEM network is where the enthusiasm starts—it starts with us….
Anything else you might like to highlight?
Light speed for STEM, warp speed, choose your metaphor—full speed ahead is the order of the day. I like STEM and so do Girl Scouts and our STEM Mobile will help carry that message to our region!