Post in partnership with Sylvan Learning

Leyna is very into makeup, and letting her put some on is a special ritual we share once or twice a week. A little lipstick in exchange for smiles and whispered secrets.

Meet them where they are- that’s part of our new philosophy with the kids. It’s so much in the spirit of our big Happy Loud Life move– selling the house to get more time with the kids on the road so we can teach them in a way that really reaches them.

So how do I take makeup and make it about more than just pink lips? Recently, I got to use it as a gateway to discussions about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), thanks to Sylvan EDGE.

I can’t imagine many of us, especially women, made it through early adolescence without eyeing those creamy pink Mary Kay cosmetics bottles and compacts at some point, either in a catalog or our mother’s purses. Certainly, most of us are also familiar with the pink Cadillacs Mary Kay consultants would earn. It was always exciting to see one in the wild, driving right next to us.

You may already know that Dallas is home to Mary Kay Inc., but did you also know they have a free museum inside their headquarters? I took Leyna to visit it, and I was honestly surprised at how inspiring it was.

Not only did we learn a lot about founder Mary Kay Ash…

and all she’s done to empower women through her sales model, which allowed women to develop their talents and achieve unlimited success (and that was some serious goosebump-inducing stuff, y’all)…

But we also had some wonderful discussions about what else women can do in the beauty industry.

“Did you know that girls can also grow up to become cosmetic chemists? That’s the person that creates the makeup! They come up with the… well, the recipe, I guess, for all the ingredients in lipstick or blush.”

“And there are also machinists who create the machines that make the makeup. You could do that, too! Or you could be a cosmetic engineer, making sure the makeup meets safety standards.”

Her eyes lit up and mine teared up. I don’t think it was common to talk to young girls about jobs like this when I was her age. When we showed interest in beauty, makeup, or fashion, we were often told we could become models or stylists. There’s nothing wrong with either of those, but it warmed my heart to know that I was giving her a bigger picture.

It’s so important to expose our young children, especially our girls, to the idea that these types of STEM jobs exist and that, yes, they could do them, too. Children in grades 1-6 are at the prime age for STEM exposure, retention, and application. Sylvan EDGE is focused on challenging and inspiring kids to master critical skills for the future like Robotics, Engineering, Coding, and Math. Mary Kay Inc. utilizes some of these critical skills to create their beauty products!

Currently, women make up half the population, but only hold one-fourth of STEM jobs. By getting our girls interested in STEM early on through programs like Sylvan EDGE, we can get women into more beauty industry jobs for STEM professionals, and more STEM jobs in general. There is untapped talent and potential in our young girls!

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