Cash Cayen, a brave nine-year-old girl, is making a name for herself on the Internet. As a little girl with a passion for robotics, there weren’t many clubs that catered toward her interests.
Her local library, the Timmins Public Library in Ontario, Canada, held a robotics club weekly. Excited to take on the new opportunity, she tried to enter the club. Unfortunately, the program was only being offered to boys. The library turned down her request, but she wasn’t going to let them exclude her.
Here is the flyer from the Timmins Public Library. It reads: “Special boys program ages 9-12 years old.”
The library’s explanation was vague at best. When Cash asked the woman why she turned her down, her only response was that boys needed help with math and science over the summer. This reasoning didn’t sit well with Cash’s mother, so they sat down and began to plan their petition.
With the help of her mother and thousands on Facebook, Cash started a petition on Change.org to have the gender limitation lifted.
Their initial goal was to hit ten signatures, and then they settled on one hundred. However, it wasn’t long before they were able to get 1000 supporters! And their support isn’t only helping through signatures – many are writing to Cash, sharing their own similar stories.
A father of a young girl with similar interests, Dan Scott, wrote: "I am a technologist, and am acutely aware of the lack of women who currently make science and technology their chosen career. We need to encourage and support their participation in these endeavors from the earliest ages."
Many are speaking up on Facebook. One supporter, in particular, a female robotics engineer, offered some inspiration and encouragement.
The FIRST program, an organization that helps young people find their calling in the science and engineering field, had a few things to say about the matter. One “robotics mentor” from the program made sure Cash knew there were many girls just like her fighting for a similar cause.
Within three days, they managed to get 27,000 signatures. Because of their triumph, the town of Timmins’s Mayor, Steven Black, will allow any girl interested in the program to join.