PATHS for LGBTQ+ Young People into STEAM

June 1, 2023

Representation matters! This may be a familiar refrain when it comes to film and television, but it's also true when it comes to professional and career aspirations. When young people see people who are like them doing work that interests them, that career path suddenly becomes a possibility for them. PATHS is a program meant to inspire and motivate LGBTQ+ youth, young adults, and learners of all ages interested in careers in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) fields through storytelling by current LGBTQ+ STEAM professionals. If your child or teen has expressed interest in any of these areas, consider exploring LGBT Tech’s PATHS programming and resources.

PATHS Resources:

  • Seasons 1 and 2 of the PATHS interview series are available to stream on LGBT Tech’s YouTube channel, and feature interviews with a diverse group of LGBTQ+ folks working across an array of STEAM fields and careers. Season 3 is launching this Pride month, with a new episode being released each Thursday, starting June 1st. Each interview highlights challenges, triumphs, and opportunities the interviewees have faced along their career paths, offering encouragement to young people with similar interests and career goals.
  • The PATHS Mentorship Program connects LGBTQ+ individuals starting out in STEAM to a network of mentors in order to ensure they have the guidance, resources, and knowledge necessary to be successful in their pursuits into STEAM. We aim to build not only a network of support, but an entire community of LGBTQ+ STEAM professionals in which PATHS mentees will one day have the opportunity to be mentors to the next generation of community members entering STEAM.
  • Creating visibility is crucial, but so is addressing the very real financial barriers that LGBTQ+ individuals face when deciding their career paths. We recognize that while STEAM jobs offer increased financial stability, they also require resources to pursue successfully. We are dedicated to empowering more LGBTQ+ individuals to enter STEAM by removing financial barriers through the PATHS STEAM Educational Grant program.

By providing a platform for LGBTQ+ STEAM professionals to tell their stories, young people will be able to identify with other LGBTQ+ people that inspire them, find connections with them and their stories, and potentially be empowered to embark on a career path in STEAM. Everyone has a unique story, a unique path, and this program aims to celebrate diversity and differences while seeing the power and connection in our similarities.

Written by

Kristen Kelley

Kristen Kelley (She/They) is the Director of Programs at LGBT Tech. She oversees programming and partnerships for PATHS and PowerOn. Kristen has a background in social services and grassroots community organizing. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Cultural Studies and Women and Gender Studies. After completing her undergraduate degree, Kristen lived in Barcelona, Spain teaching English as a Foreign Language. She has extensive experience in refugee solidarity work, volunteering for grassroots projects to support refugees living in camps and shelters across Greece, France, Turkey, Lebanon, and México. She has also worked as a Housing Advocate in Chicago, working with families and youth experiencing homelessness. She has continued doing immigrant solidarity work in both Chicago and México.