According to the Society of Women Engineers, only 12% of engineers in Florida are women.  In the Stellar Academy of Engineering at Nease High School, the percentage of female Academy students is higher than that, at around 24%, and the Academy is always working to increase our numbers by encouraging students to explore opportunities in engineering. In an effort to support and encourage our female Academy students, the program has begun a series of Women in Engineering Lunch and Learns.  During these events, female engineering students can enjoy free pizza while discussing the engineering industry with a professional engineer.  The first event’s featured guest Alexis Alexandris, a Nease alumna who went on to earn a degree in Aerospace Engineering from NC State, and was then hired by the Department of Defense.  Mrs. Alexandris currently specializes in working on F/A-18 Super Hornets.  During her time with our students, she shared how she became interested in engineering, how she pursued her dream through college, and found a job that she still loves after years in the industry. Mrs. Alexandris discussed how, as a woman in the field, she has worked her way to a leadership position, and now runs a team of engineers.  She took the time to find out what type of engineering interests each of the 20 girls who attended the event, encouraged the girls to ignore naysayers, to speak up for themselves and set goals for their futures.  The Stellar Academy of Engineering thanks Mrs. Alexandris for spending time with our students, and for kicking off our Women in Engineering Lunch and Learn series!