Raising the bar: Glebe resident launches STEM fundraiser

Glebe resident Jennifer Farkas held a fundraiser in support of promoting girls in science, technology, engineering and math, hosted at Glebe Central Pub.

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By Devon Babin


Jenifer Farkas has only lived in the Glebe for eight months, yet her dedication to the local community can’t be denied. Throughout April, Farkas ran a fundraiser to support the local chapter of the Canadian Association for Girls in Science (CAGIS).

Moving into the Glebe last September, Farkas is a United States Space Force Guardian assigned to the Royal Canadian Air Force servicing as an Exchange Officer for the 3rd Canadian Space Division.

“The Glebe is not only the best neighbourhood in the city, but the spirit of the community is unmatched,” said Farkis. “As someone who moves often, I know when an area is the right fit, and the outpouring of support during this fundraising campaign reflects the welcoming nature of its residents,” said Farkas.

Careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields are among the highest-paid and fastest-growing in the country. Unfortunately, women make up only 23 per cent of science and technology workers in Canada. CAGIS is committed to reversing this trend by offering programs that inspire young women, showing them how they can be successful in any field, including STEM.

The Raising the Bar fundraiser launched April 2 with a densely packed trivia night at the Glebe Central Pub. Farkas kicked off the event by telling the crowd of STEM supporters that more must be done to get women into these fields.

“Daily, I am reminded of the need to advocate on behalf of women in the crucial fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” she said “As a member of the armed services, I am committed to community involvement and public outreach. Empowering young women and girls is near and dear to my heart.”

Other fundraising events at the Glebe Central Pub included an April 14 dart tournament sponsored by Perth Brewery. Twenty players from as far away as Smiths Falls descended on the pub to compete in a teams-based, cricket-style tournament to support the fundraiser. A head-shaving event on April 16 raised more than $300 and lots of attention from passers-by on Bank Street.

The fundraiser culminated with a wrap-up party on April 28 featuring live music and some appreciative final words from Farkas and CAGIS representatives.

Prizes for the final event were provided by local businesses, including Capital Home Hardware, McCrank’s Cycles and Skis, Compact Music, the Glebe Central Pub, 3’s Company, Riviera and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, among others.

Donations through CAGIS’s online portal, including a generous donation from the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, helped the campaign exceed its target of $1,000 by mid-month, and the final total for the Raising The Bar fundraiser at press time was expected to exceed $1,500.

“With the generosity of community residents and local businesses, we’re raising funds to benefit the local chapter of CAGIS so they can continue offering programs to encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM,” said Farkis.

CAGIS programs are evidence-based and informed by scientific research and thorough evaluation. The association’s approach is recognized internationally, with expert advisory roles and presentations to the United Nations. The association offers both virtual programs and in-person experiences through local clubs that visit labs, workshops and field sites to meet mentors and do fun, hands-on activities.

Founded in 1992, CAGIS is Canada’s largest and longest-running STEM club for girls and gender diverse youth aged seven to16. The success of CAGIS is truly inspiring, with 94 per cent of CAGIS alumni studying or working in STEM fields.

Since its inception, CAGIS has created opportunities for girls and gender-diverse youth to explore the world of STEM. Its award-winning programs take STEM out of the classroom and into labs, field sites and workshops to build, experiment, and explore, with women and gender-diverse role models. To date, its in-person and online programs provide over 12,000 interactions with youth across Canada per year.

Anyone interested in supporting young women in STEM can donate through CAGIS’s secure online portal at https://girlsinscience.ca.


Devon Babin is a communications specialist, pet-lover and long-time reader of the Glebe Report.


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