Girls 4 Science founder - Jackie Lomax


headshot of founder Jackie Lomax
Jackie Lomax

Jackie Lomax is the Founder and Executive Director of Girls 4 Science. Lomax founded Girls 4 Science in 2009 as a direct response to the lack of accessible and affordable quality science programs for young girls of color in the Chicago area. Girls 4 Science is the only free, year-round, nonselective STEM program for girls 10-18 years old. Girls 4 Science offers its six-week Saturday STEM Academy four times per year at Olive Harvey and Malcolm X City Colleges of Chicago and the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL. Since its inception in 2009 more than 3,000 girls have participated in the Girls 4 Science free Saturday STEM Academy.

When her young daughter expressed an interest in science, Lomax searched for STEM programs geared toward young girls but was unable to find affordable community-based programs. Lomax ambitiously set out to fulfill the need for her daughter and other daughters of the city of Chicago, creating a plan to develop a free science academy exclusively for girls age 10 to 18 years. The first Saturday STEM Academy was held in the summer and fall of 2009 at Olive Harvey, one of the City Colleges of Chicago located in the far south Roseland neighborhood. In 2012 the program expanded to four sessions yearly and added Malcolm X City College as a site. The St. Francis University in Joliet, Illinois was added as a site in the summer of 2013.

Jackie Lomax and Girls 4 Science have received numerous awards, including:

  • 2021 Women of Excellence Award, Chicago Defender

  • 2021 Organization of the Year, Tau Psi Zeta Sorority

  • 2019 Wyvetter H. Younge Illinois Black Legislative Caucus Foundation

  • 2017 Community Service Award, Plan4Success

  • 2018 Dr. Margaret Burroughs Legacy Award, DuSable Museum

  • 2013 STEM Innovator Award, Chicago Urban League

  • 2013 Women Inspiring Through STEM Innovation, Cook County Juvenile Probation Department

  • 2013 Give Back Day Hero, Allstate Insurance Company

  • 2013 Community Hero Award, John Hancock High School

  • 2013 30 for 30 Nonprofits, Today’s Chicago Woman

  • 2010 HOPE Award, University of St. Francis

Jackie Lomax graduated from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL in 1998 with a major in Communications. She interned with Chicagoland Television News as an Assignment Desk Editor then transitioned to The Nielsen Company in 1998, where she worked as an Administrative Assistant until 2009. In 1999, Jackie launched Lomax Leisure Tours and worked to promote African American-themed itineraries for Chicago Public School students. With the Archdiocese of Joliet, Illinois, Lomax worked with the indigenous people of Mexico and Bolivia to help build roads, schools, and water filtration systems. In 2005 Jackie received an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in early child development from Harold Washington City College of Chicago. Lomax founded Girls 4 Science in 2009 and has served as Executive Director since that time.


Join her at the Girls 4 Science Saturday STEM Academy - Registration opens February 13, 2022. More info below!


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