Licking student attends STEAM camp in Namibia

Photo by Katie Anderson -- Licking High School’s Hannah Tillery was selected as the only student from Missouri to attend the WiSci Girls STEAM Camp in Windhoek, Namibia.

“I coordinate a partnership built out of our office called WiSci STEAM Camp,” said Alexis Lennon, of the Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State. “WiSci stands for ‘Women in Science’ and is a STEAM camp designed to empower high school girls and pique their interest in the STEAM fields. This summer, we are teaming up with private sector partners such as Intel and Google, among others, to send 100 girls aged 15-18 to Namibia for two weeks. The girls come from both the U.S. and various sub-Saharan African countries.”

Lennon also stated in the letter, “This year we had over 1,100 girls apply for the 100 available positions. From that group, there were approximately 250 U.S. girls vying for only 20 spots. While the selection process was difficult, we were able to find 20 distinguished and driven girls to represent the U.S. at this year’s camp. These girls have shown that they are leaders in their community with great ambitions and accomplishments.

“This year, one of the campers includes a girl from Licking. Her name is Hannah Tillery, and she is an accomplished young woman who has been actively involved in promoting girls in tech fields. She is a junior at Licking High School and we are confident that she will be a great participant in this life changing experience. Upon her return, Hannah will be equipped with the skills to lead change amongst other young women in her community interested in STEAM fields.”


A message from Hannah Tillery:

Hi! My name is Hannah Tillery. I am a 16-year-old junior from Licking High School. I have been selected to attend the Women in Science (WiSci) Girls STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design, and Mathematics) Camp in Windhoek, Namibia this June 17-29. I am one of only 20 American girls selected to attend this year’s all-expense-paid camp in Africa. I am the only girl selected from the state of Missouri!

I am excited to learn from the top female leaders in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics organizations from around the world. The knowledge and connections that I gain will help me in the future, as I plan to attend medical school to become a doctor. It is my dream to work in medical research and, one day, work at the CDC helping to cure diseases. I hope to be a role model to other girls and show them that females can excel in every area and change the face of the world.

I am proud to represent my state and my country as I learn from powerful woman from around the world. It is a huge honor to have been selected.


In order to be selected, there was a process to go through that included a long survey to fill out, a recommendation letter (which was provided by coach Heather Hawn), along with four essays that included things such as “what do you want to do in the future” and “why should we choose you over other candidates.”

Tillery also stated that there would be classes that they attend each day. They will range in topics of science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics.

“I really want to be in a science-based career, and I think this will really help me with that,” said Tillery before leaving for her trip.

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