Lilian Mirzakanian Wants to Engineer a Better Future For Girls

Girls in STEM Club president wants to see more female representation in the workforce

Lilian+Mirzakanian+Wants+to+Engineer+a+Better+Future+For+Girls

Kristina Kugaevskaya, Editor-in-Chief

Senior Lilian Mirzakanian was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Glendale. She is the founder and current president of the Girls in STEM Club at Glendale High School. 

Lilian is very involved in the GHS community, as she is the current vice president of the Senior Class, the Red Cross Club, and the Children’s Hospital LA Club. She is also captain of the girls’ track team. When she’s not carrying out her many responsibilities, Lilian likes to play her pink electric guitar, hang out with her dog or FaceTime with friends.

Lilian decided to start the Girls in STEM Club when she realized that only 26% percent of the STEM workforce is composed of women. “Many women face limiting factors, such as poverty or family tradition, that prevent them from furthering their education after high school,” Lilian said. “I wanted to start a club that is able to provide help to these girls.”

According to Lilian, the purpose of the club is to aid women in having access to the educational opportunities needed to go into the STEM field. Lilian also stresses the fact that the club does not aim to “force girls to go into STEM or to get a higher education.” Instead it gives them the opportunities necessary if they decide to pursue that path. 

Lilian believes that “anyone can join the club, [because] it is not a girls-only community.” The club is called “Girls in STEM” because its goal is to promote female education, but it is ultimately an open community. “One of our cabinet members is a guy, so any gender identity can join,” Lilian said.

Lilian is planning to stay busy with the club this year. The club is going to write letters to girls in the LA area, encouraging them to pursue higher levels of education. They are also going to fundraise and donate the money to organizations that hire tutors for girls to complete their education. 

Apart from reaching out to young women, Lilian also plans to influence elementary school girls, by organizing a girl-empowerment themed book drive. She wants to collect books that display female inventors, scientists, and engineers, and she and her club members will read them to the elementary schools in the Glendale area. Her hope is to inspire little girls to pursue careers they might otherwise see as difficult or even impossible from them. 

During club meetings, Lilian and her members present and discuss fundraiser ideas. Once every two months, Lilian plans to research and invite women to speak at club meetings, who have invented, discovered, or achieved something important in the field of STEM. She also wants to give other club members the opportunity to make such presentations as well.

Lilian’s biggest hope for her club members this year is to go out into the community for their activities. COVID-19 has halted many club activities for the past couple of years, but Lilian is hopeful that their elementary school book project will happen.

Lilian’s biggest fear for her club is that people won’t show enough interest for the club to grow. “Our cabinet is very dedicated to the cause,” she said. “However, the success of the club requires outside contribution and participation.”

Lilian encourages everyone to join the Girls in STEM Club if they want to give back to their community and help give girls the opportunity for a brighter future. Lilian added, “We also offer community service hours!”

After high school, Lilian hopes to get into UCLA and major in Human Biology and minor in Business. After she graduates from college and med school, Lillian hopes to become a general pediatrician and open up her own clinic.

If you are interested in the Girls in STEM Club, email Ms. Arakelian at [email protected], or text @gisghs23 to 81010 to join the club Remind. Also don’t forget to follow @ghgirlsinstem on Instagram!