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STEMbassadors honored to receive Marketa’s Journey scholarship and attend Women of Excellence Brunch

Samantha (center) received a scholarship. Photo courtesy of Marketa's Journey.

This fall, two Delran STEMbassadors have been inspired by a young woman’s journey of pursuing STEM passions.

Marketa’s Journey honors the life of Marketa McCabe and was founded by her family after her passing in 2021. Marketa was a humanitarian and gifted in many ways, such as in the sciences, athletics, the arts, and environmentalism. The organization sponsors events and scholarships in her memory.

Senior STEMbassadors Campbell Willard and Samantha Pappas learned about Marketa’s Journey from Mrs. DeMichele and Mrs. Hutchinson. “Having two female STEM directors in our school is also so inspiring,” Campbell noted. She and Samantha both independently researched more about Marketa and found her story both inspiring and empowering for women who wish to pursue STEM education and careers.

Samantha noted the similarities to her interests in STEM and volunteering to Marketa’s. “Getting to know her through her mother felt great to know those connections. I’d like to embody those qualities, too, for Marketa,” she noted when asked about the scholarship and meeting the McCabe family.

Samantha (left) and Campbell (right) at the event. Photo courtesy of Campbell Willard.

Campbell also discussed how inspirational it was to meet not only the McCabe family but also other exceptional women at the Women in Excellence Brunch. She wants to pursue mechanical engineering, which she learned was Marketa’s original college major. “All the women before me are inspiring – this field is male-dominated. Listening to the women at the brunch – CEOs and others at the top of their fields – is something I’d like to strive for,” she explained when asked about the event and her future.

Samantha, the recipient of the scholarship, noted that not only is there a disparity in the representation of women in STEM but also in the military. She would like to study mechanical engineering and has an interest in becoming a Navy pilot. Not only a STEMbassador for our school, Samantha also has participated in STEM events with Lockheed Martin and the Naval Academy and has a few inspiring family members in the field. “I am very blessed,” she said. “Seeing what they [my brothers] accomplished helps inspire me to follow in their footsteps but to make my own path, too.”

When asked about what advice Samantha would give other young women from our community interested in STEM, she offered: “If you’re interested in it, do it! Don’t stop until you reach your goals, even if you have doubts.” She noted this is also the advice she personally pursued when she heard about Marketa’s Journey.

Both students expressed gratitude for the opportunities and praise for the organization.

“The brunch was a WONDERFUL experience to be a part of and to listen to the women speak about their experiences was truly inspiring,” Campbell said, also noting that hearing Priscilla Frederick Loomis, a former track and field Olympian, was especially inspiring for her as well. She explained listening to Mrs. McCabe and a former professor of Marketa’s talk about her was emotional but listening to them and learning about Marketa was inspirational. “I want to thank Mrs. McCabe and Marketa’s Journey for the opportunity to be a part of it and to attend the brunch. It was a wonderful experience.”

Samantha also expressed her heartfelt gratitude. “I want to express gratitude for the organization and especially to Jana (Marketa’s mother) for the opportunity.”

In addition to their gratitude, both students have expressed interest in continued events and opportunities from the organization. To learn more about events from Marketa’s Journey, there is a form available on the Events tab of their website. This weekend, on Saturday, November 18 from 10 am until noon, there is an environmental activity, clean-up hike, and visit to the animal refuge planned at Cedar Run in Medford, NJ. To register, please visit this event’s page on their website.

Thank you to Marketa's Journey for their hard work and dedication to providing opportunities to the community!

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