G.E.M. Environmental is excited to announce another new addition to our Science Stories blog series. Each month, we interview a STEM scholar, student, or community member and ask them things like why they believe the STEM fields are important, how they got started in their field, to what they would do if they hit the jackpot. We hope that our new blog series will inspire you, introduce a variety of fields, and create new conversations.
Our featured guest for the month of November is Lisa Sahady, Regional Philanthropic Advisor for the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) of Yavapai County. ACF's mission is to "Lead, serve and collaborate to mobilize enduring philanthropy for a better Arizona."
Why do you believe that the STEM fields are important?
STEM fields are the future. Students having an understanding of the importance of STEM is crucial for our society and country.
How and why did you get involved in the STEM fields?
For the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County our involvement with STEM fields is two-fold; 1) grants that we offer through our annual competitive grant cycle, and 2) scholarships offered to students. Through our Field of Interest funds we are able to provide grants to organizations and/or schools for STEM related projects. The Arizona Community Foundation offers over 100 scholarships to students. Many of these scholarships are STEM specific.
What inspires you in your current position/role?
The ability to help our community is one of the most inspiring aspects of my work with the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County. Knowing that we help provide funds for projects that encourage students' involvement with STEM is incredible. Helping students achieve their dreams of a college education through scholarships is exciting, especially today when so many students are accruing high levels of debt. Every student who wants a college degree should be able to obtain one.
What work experiences (past or present) have been the most educational for you, and why?
My current position is the most educational. I never knew I could work with so many organizations and individuals and make such an impact on our community. It is amazing to see how our community cares. Knowing that I am a part of that is inspiring.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
Our next big event is Cash for College Scholarship Awareness Night on December 3rd and December 4th. We hold this annual event in Prescott and Clarkdale, hosted by Yavapai College.
What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you (hobby, skill, interesting story)?
I love science fiction, novels, television, and movies.
What is the worst job that you had, and what would you tell your past self now?
I will not name the organization. I would tell my past self that you do not have to settle. Believe in your talents.
You won $10 million in the lotto. What would you do?
I think most people have thought about winning the lottery. First, I would pay off all debt. Second, I would set up donor advisor funds. My husband and I could give and teach our daughter, and future grandchildren, the joy of philanthropy. Lastly, we would go have some fun. Take a trip or two.
What’s your favorite book of all-time?
I love science fiction, but my favorite book is the Outsiders. It is a dynamic story of struggle and the need for family.
You can learn more about the Arizona Community Foundation HERE.