Girls in Engineering workshop returns to PRCC

Published 5:41 pm Saturday, October 29, 2022

Special to the Item

Mississippi Power’s iCan! Girls in Engineering program returned this week at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville as 25 female high school students from Pearl River Central participated in a day full of interactive learning about different fields of engineering.

“It was great to host iCan! again,” said Ann Holland, community development representative. “I enjoyed interacting with the next generation of female leaders as our team introduced them to the possibility of a career in engineering and STEM.”

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The program began with a safety briefing followed by introductions from several female employees from across the company. Students then learned about mechanical, electrical, industrial, civil and chemical engineering by building bath bombs, lip gloss, high heel shoes, cars with K’Nex and circuits. The day ended with a runway show modeling the high heels created and a race with the K’Nex cars created.

“The students enjoyed each station as they learned about the different forms of engineering and STEM. It is important to show the next generation of women that a career in STEM is possible and fun,” said Holland.

Coast Division West Area Manager Meg Payment served as the event’s guest speaker. Payment encouraged the young women to contribute their unique qualities and ideas to any team they join.

“Each of these students comes from their own unique experience,” Payment said. “I encouraged them to be confident in offering their opinions in their teams because providing that diversity of thought will spark new ideas and lead to a greater end-product.”

iCan! Girls in Engineering aids in Mississippi Power’s workforce development by inspiring the next generation of female leaders to see themselves in different areas of the company. This idea came full circle with Alyssa Gates, general transmission engineer, in March.

“We had our first successful hire of a former iCan! participant this year,” Holland said. “Alyssa attended from West Harrison, and iCan! sparked her interest in engineering. I am excited to see how this program continues to expand the female workforce at Mississippi Power.”

Now in its 97th year of operations, Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and affordable energy for more than 191,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power was honored with a Community Partner Impact Award from the Center for Energy Workforce Development for its innovative and ongoing efforts to build a diverse workforce. The Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve recently recognized Mississippi Power for its commitment to its military workforce. Mississippi Power has nearly 160MW of solar capacity at four locations across the company’s service territory, including Southern Company’s first project to combine the latest, cutting-edge solar technology with battery storage. Visit our websites at, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.