Valerie Hawkins, Project Lead the Way (PLTW)/ Gateway to Technology (GTT) Educator-Magnet Coordinator, Baltimore County Public Schools received Women of Color Magazine’s K-12 Promotion of Education award at the 18th Annual Women of Color Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Hawkins is a coordinator and teacher at Southwest Academy Magnet School of Science and Engineering, providing students with access to the Magnet program using the Project Lead the Way/Gateway to Technology (PLTW/GTT) hands on method to problem-based curriculum and gives students with a pre-engineering foundation.

The Women of Color STEM conference is a multicultural event for women in scientific and technical careers. Tyrone D. Taborn, CEO of Career Communications Group, called the awards long-deserved recognition for talented women. “These women are outstanding achievers in very competitive fields where women do not always get a fair shot at leadership positions,” he said.

“Women make up more than half of the population of this country and are receiving more than half of the college degrees, yet too many women in today’s work force are trapped in low-paying and low-grade-level jobs,” Taborn added. “Given the growing diversity of the current work force, employers must commit not only to leveling the playing field but also to addressing those inequalities that limit women from achieving their full career potential.”