STATE: Application period open for STEM program

Published 2:00 pm Thursday, January 25, 2024

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Know a high school girl interested in public service and a future career in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics?

The NC Department of Administration (NCDOA) is accepting applications for the summer Lady Cardinal Mentorship Program. This four-week, paid mentorship opportunity with state government leaders is open to North Carolina high school girls, grades 9-12.

Established in 2019 by NCDOA’s Council for Women and Youth Involvement, the Lady Cardinal Mentorship Program seeks to improve gender inequity by providing college bound girls an opportunity to explore STEM-based careers within North Carolina state government.

“Since its inception the program has mentored nearly 40 high school girls across the state,” said NCDOA Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell. “Preparing North Carolina’s best and brightest in high-growth and high-earning fields such as STEM careers will help more women and families achieve economic security, reduce poverty and grow the state’s economy.”

Interested students can apply for the Lady Cardinal Mentorship Program through Feb. 26. Program and application information can be found on the NCDOA website at

Candidate interviews will occur in mid-March and selected applicants will be notified of placement in April. The mentorship program will run weekdays July 8 through Aug. 2.

All mentees are expected to work 40 hours a week, with time divided between working side-by-side with women leaders (24 hours per week) and working on a group project (16 hours per week). The summer enrichment opportunity also includes lunch and learn sessions and field trips to various state government agencies. Students will earn a $1,700 stipend at the end of the program.

This year’s participating state agencies include the departments of Administration, Commerce, Environmental Quality, Health and Human Services, Information Technology, Natural and Cultural Resources, Public Safety, Revenue, and Transportation, the Governor’s Office, and the Offices of State Human Resources and State Budget and Management.

In addition to working on a project on artificial intelligence, last year the Lady Cardinal mentees participated in a geology tour with the NC Department of Environmental Quality, visited the NC Department of Transportation Aviation and Rail Divisions, explored the biotechnology company Biogen, and engaged in lunch and learn sessions with state government leaders among many other educational activities.

The Lady Cardinal Mentorship Program purpose and goals are based on recommendations from the 2018 Status of Women in NC Employment and Earnings Report released by the Council for Women and Youth Involvement in collaboration with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The report highlights the growing disparity in employment and earnings among women and men in North Carolina.