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Valerie Segovia, director of outreach and development with the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) at Texas A&M University, was a keynote presenter at the 57th International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference held recently in Vienna.

Segovia explained to conference attendees how NPI helps young people, particularly women, pursue technical and scientific careers, especially in the nuclear field.

NPI’s program has markedly increased interest in science and technology among the students it mentors. More than 80 percent of the students mentored through NPI are interested in a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM), while only 15 percent of the total United States high school population expresses an interest in those career paths.

"Don’t underestimate the power of your influence," Segovia said to companies and organizations on hand at the conference. "By building partnerships with community leaders and teachers, powerful connections are created with students. The students are grateful for your encouragement, a clear direction for their future and the acknowledgement that they have the talent for a scientific or technical career."