Ashland sponsors Jacqueline Means in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant

Jacqueline Means, STEM Queen and Miss Philadelphia, competes in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant with equity in STEM platform 

For the past three years, Ashland has been excited to support Jacqueline Means and her work encouraging young girls to challenge the stereotypes they may face as females in science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM. 

You may wonder why Ashland, an additives and specialty ingredients company, would support a STEM “Beauty” Queen? The answer is quite simple. Ashland is invested Jackie’s mission of raising awareness about STEM careers for women and people of color. As part of our corporate commitment to environment, social and governance – or ESG – Ashland has put a stake in the ground around STEM. We are SOLVERS and to address the world’s toughest challenges, we rely heavily on science, technology, engineering and math. We are passionate about the importance of STEM because we recognize that it pervades every aspect of our lives. And we know that a thriving STEM workforce is crucial for generating innovative ideas, commercializing patents, and providing the flexibility and critical thinking required in a modern economy. 

So, on June 2, 2023 Ashland celebrated Jacqueline (Jackie) Means for her work promoting careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and its impact on young girls and minorities through the Wilmington Urban STEM Initiative, an organization she founded in 2015. Known nationally as the STEM Queen, Jackie was recently crowned Miss Philadelphia and as her title sponsor for the Miss Pennsylvania pageant, Ashland hosted a sendoff at company headquarters before she left to take her STEM platform to compete for the Miss Pennsylvania title, June 15 - 17, 2023, in York, PA.  

Under Ashland’s Responsible Solvers™ program, the company executes regional programs aimed at expanding the number of students pursuing advanced degrees and STEM careers and broadening participation of women and minorities. Working with Jackie, Ashland has supported her  mission to provide hands-on STEM experiences to girls and minorities from underrepresented communities in Delaware. From community center events, tours, a Franklin Institute field trip, and a day of hands-on experiments and learning at Ashland's Wilmington Research Center, the company continues to welcome students and has helped demystify STEM as a discipline and a career. 

Jackie’s mission is alive and well empowering girls in our community and increasing their interest in STEM through innovative education programs and interactive events. Through her Girls Empowerment STEM events and workshops, Jackie has led thousands of girls in fun, hands-on science experiments to equip them with the knowledge and confidence that they, as females, can succeed in STEM. 

She continues to spread not only her love of STEM but also hope and happiness by posting bi-weekly STEM videos on her social media platforms. 

Jackie believes that every girl is valuable and capable of achieving goals that may seem unattainable. 

Through her actions, she strives to offer them hope as a role model, teacher, and friend. She “walks the talk” and still has great presence in the Southbridge community - and hopes to raise their belief in themselves and encourage them to achieve good grades and reduce the chances that they will turn to negative distractions. 

Her mission to motivate girls to believe that they CAN one day be a successful scientist, astronaut, engineer, or mathematician, and that there are no boundaries to what they can achieve. 

Jackie is an inspiration to all of us and Ashland wishes her much success on the Pennsylvania stage. We know she will continue to shine brightly. 

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