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Young Women in STEAM Grant Recipient – Eizelle Yee

Architect | Entrepreneur | Environmentalist

Meet 30-year-old Eizelle Yee from the Philippines, who is a founding member and architect of Pocket Garden, a public space design collective started by a group of volunteers who co-create and design sharable green spaces in the Philippines. Her father persuaded her to pursue architecture and she was naturally inspired by spaces and how they were created. She believes women have a keen eye for detail that helps marry art and science in a very organized fashion.

2022 Young Women in STEAM grant recipient, Eizelle Yee

Describe your STEAM projects/interests.

A group of volunteers, myself included started a public space design collective where we aim to enrich shared spaces for better and healthier lives. We co-create and co-design green and open spaces with communities in the Philippines. You can check us out at http://pocketgarden.org. My most recent project with pocket garden is designing a Bee Garden in a museum where they can educate visitors and at the same time harvesting honey from bees and having a thriving garden that grows with it.

What/Who inspired you to get into STEAM?

When I was young, I’ve always been inspired by spaces and how spaces were made. It was my dad who told me that I must have an eye for architecture and pushed me to pursuing a career in it. I currently have a design firm and we regularly collaborate with public collectives and as I mentioned, I am one of the founding members of Pocket Garden.

What are some advantages you think being a female brings to the STEAM field?

I believe women generally have a very keen eye for detail. We learn to appreciate the little details and we’re always keen to learn more about the things around us. We’re mostly organized when it comes to the ideas especially marrying both the art and the sciences. Being detail oriented and natural problem solvers gives females the slight advantage compared to others. There’s a story in every art and space, and women are naturals in telling stories.

What would you tell young girls who are interested in STEAM, but too intimidated or discouraged to pursue it?

Be confident in your abilities. You do you. Everybody has a set of unique talents and skills that would always contribute to society. What’s difficult is finding what you’re good at and running with it. In a male dominating world, women are often pushed aside and left in the shadows for dead end jobs and simpler tasks. We’re silenced or ignored because people think we can’t stand up for ourselves but it’s up to us to keep moving forward, break boundaries and surprise everyone that we’re just as good or even better than the male population.

What do you think is most exciting about the future of STEAM, and is there a specific advancement you’d like to see happen?

I’d love to see where people can take STEM further. Everybody has something to bring to the table; their way of thinking, their own culture and traditions. I’d love to see different people come together and collaborate to make something inclusive and relatable. With today’s technology and advancement, I think there’s always something new to discover, it’s just a matter of time and funding when people can explore freely with less limitations.

Who’s your favorite female icon and why?

Aside from my mom who I looked to for strength and inspiration, Michelle Obama has always been one of my favorite female icons. She has so much fight in her that she really advocates for poverty awareness, education, nutrition and much more. She’s not the typical type of woman who’d stand back and lurk in the shadows, she is a force of nature without losing her femininity and her identity. While most first ladies just stand and support their husbands, Michelle Obama proves that she can do both; push for advocacies, support her husband, and probably make Sunday dinner for her family at best. She shows that a strong and accomplished woman can also take a step back for her loved ones to rise up and shine. Her disposition exudes with grace accompanied with confidence that can make anybody in a room listen. She stands up for what she believes in and would always fight for the right thing.

2022 Young Women in STEAM grant recipient, Farzana Alam Eshita