‘Girls on Fire’ Explore STEM at Johnson College

JOHNSON COLLEGE -- Battling decades of stereotypes at Johnson College in Scranton, some young women learned the trades aren't just for men.

On this freezing cold morning, this was called "Girls on Fire" at Johnson College in Scranton.

Young ladies from Forest City Regional, Lackawanna Trail, and Tunkhannock Area High Schools learned science, technology, engineering, math, and the building trades are no longer "boys only."

Rozalie Smith from Tunkhannock Area came to learn what Johnson has to offer, strongly considering something STEM, or building-trades related.

"We're told to do beauty things. We're told to be in cosmetology. We're told to be nurses. We're told to do all that stuff because it's not what girls should do, but I don't think that's right," Smith said.

And that's what "Girls on Fire" is all about -- battling years of thinking about what jobs are good for women, and what ones are good for men.

"I just feel like there's a stigma that women are made to think they can do 'these' jobs and men can do 'these' jobs and we want to change that stigma," said Johnson College career services manager Dana Healey.

Healey feels "Girls on Fire" has been a success in the past. She sees it on the faces of the girls. They walk in with fear. They leave with optimism.

Some of the young ladies here are still on the fence. They're not sure about a job. They're not sure about a school, but some have already made a decision.

For Sydney Swan, a senior from Lackawanna Trail, Johnson College and electronics are in her future. Swan has no fears entering what some feel is a man's world.

"I think it will work in my favor," said Swan. "There's not a lot of females in the STEM programs and i want to be one of them."

It could be a while before we learn if the sixth annual Girls on Fire at Johnson College was successful. Many of these young women have a few years before they decide on a career.

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