MANKATO, Minn. -- The Taylor Corporation sponsored the BOLD Futures Camp, the organization's first all- girls summer program. The program's mission is teaching young women about career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.

Minnesota State University- Mankato hosted the week-long program. Vice President Suzanne Spellacy said the program's start is a result, of several conversations about the business impacting the community. 

" One of the gaps we saw was the opportunity for girls to learn about careers in S.T.E.M," said Spellacy.  " And we know how important that is in the world, and so we wanted to fill that gap by offering this camp."

The girls worked on analyzing and extracting the DNA of strawberries on Thursday. The students were put into groups, where they worked together to carry out each step, while having a good time. 

Instructor Annabel Sampson said in the beginning, the ladies were shy of one another, but that has changed.

"They started getting familiar with themselves and they're doing very well," said Sampson. 

" Most of them have become very confident, most of them ask a lot of great questions, they participate a lot." 

Current MSU students completing their degrees in a STEM related subject, applied to be counselors for the program. Lead Instructor Kate Voytsekhovskaya said she hopes her and the counselors' participation, have an impact on the girls.  

"For us it's also very important because we get to pass our knowledge onto those ladies," said Voytsekhovskaya.

" It's important for me to just know that I can share some of my knowledge, and potentially influence someone's life in a positive way."

The Glen A. Taylor Foundation paid an $1100 cost for each camper to attend the program, which involves housing, food and educational sessions.

Spellacy said she is glad to see everything come to life. 

" After all the planning and to hear from the girls last night at our dinner, about the experiences that their having is just, makes it all worthwhile," said Spellacy. 

The camp began on June 10 and will wrap up on June 15.  The S. T. E.M. program will return for at least the next two summers.

--KEYC News 12