Headshot of Sarah Shaw, CEO of Sidekick Education.

Hello! I'm Sarah.

Like all origin stories, Sidekick's is personal.

When I was younger, I knew I wanted to go into Medicine. I remember sharing my dream with a lady at my church, and in what I think was an attempt to be encouraging, she assured me that if I didn’t succeed it was okay because girls didn’t have to be good at math. Her words stuck with me, especially as I went into high school and math got more challenging. The final nail in the coffin came when I went to sign up for Physics and the counselor told me, "No girl has ever passed that class." Again, I think he meant that to be encouraging, but I heard that I didn’t belong there because there was no way for me to be successful. So I dropped that Physics class and chose a degree in college as far from medicine as possible.

It wasn’t until my second job when I had to learn to code that I realized I wasn’t actually bad at math. I also learned that my story isn’t unique. Girls everywhere, even today, have to overcome often unintentional but always undeserved expectations. And in that, as we know, girls aren’t alone. All those undeserved expectations will lead to unrealized potential, in our young people and therefore the communities where they live.

So, I wanted to make sure every teen could tell a different story. That’s why I started Sidekick. Our personal champion is always there to show students just what they’re capable of and give them meaningful relationships with people who will help them achieve it. The next time a girl (or anyone else!) hears what she can’t do, she can point to all the people and evidence saying she can.

We're just getting started.

Identity is engagement. Engagement is opportunity. It starts with getting more girls into STEM. It ends by reinventing pipelines and pathways as a personal sidekick there to help you unleash your utmost potential.

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