MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (WTRF) – All strong women begin as strong, young girls and these powerhouses of the workforce are at Central Elementary School for their Female STEM Career Fair to show these young women just what opportunities lie ahead for their futures.

Central Sisters is a youth mentoring program between the 5th grade girls at Central Elementary School and High School girls at John Marshall High School started by Allyson Varlas. 

These girls get together on Saturdays throughout the year to do fun activities like baking or making jewelry, but the ‘All Female Career Fair’ is the event where these young girls can see firsthand women that are leaders in the community. 

”I just think it’s good for them to see what’s out there because a lot of young girls may think teacher or nurse. And while those are really great careers to go into – I’m a teacher and I enjoy teaching – however, I want them to know that they could be a politician, or an engineer, or go into the food industry and work their way up to management.”

Allyson Varlas – 5th Grade Title I Reading Specialist, Central Elementary School

With nearly 45 booths to look at, students had the opportunity to be reporters, musicians, politicians, and so much more. 

Not only does Central Sisters provide girls with insight into their futures, but it gives them a support group to carry on throughout their Marshall County Schools experience. 

”Central Sisters kind of gave me that feeling that I’m safe around these people. That I can always come to them and talk to them if I needed to and it gave me more of a sense of knowing people around me and knowing how I can trust them and learn to click with them.”

Nevaeh Berez – 6th Grader, Moundsville Middle School

”I have met a lot of new people and I’m friends with most of them now. Like Nevaeh – I became friends with her through Central Sisters.”

Reagan Ali – 6th Grader, Moundsville Middel School

This building of healthy relationships was Ms. Varlas’s goal when she started Central Sisters, and she says that seeing older girls and women inspire the elementary students makes it all the better. 

”I know when I was a young girl, I didn’t know that females could be politicians and run things like the House of Delegates or be an engineer and work for big companies in chemical fields and software fields. So, I just want them to know that although they are in Marshall County and we’re in a small community, there are big things they can do later on in life.”

Allyson Varlas – 5th Grade Title I Reading Specialist, Central Elementary School

Of course, there’s no time for some girl power like Women’s History Month.