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Friday, April 19, 2024

Forecast 2024: Sarah Jaeger of GE Concentrates on Captivating Young Brains via STEAM

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SCHENECTADY — Sarah Jaeger,‍ the intellectual property counsel at ​General Electric, vividly ⁤recalls a moment when she was mentoring⁢ a ⁣young girl during a “Shark Tank”-style event, part of‍ the company’s summer⁢ enrichment programs. The girl’s unique talent caught her attention.

Jaeger was assisting the girl in developing her idea, a charming little house for⁢ cats. ⁢The girl, however, was unsure ​about the⁣ worth of her invention, Jaeger ‍remembered.

“The⁢ invention was adorable. ‌They’re⁢ just middle schoolers, but what struck‌ me was the girl’s exceptional drawing skills,” Jaeger said. “Her drawing⁣ was so impressive, it could have been mistaken for⁤ a ‌Pixar animator’s work.”

When Jaeger ​complimented the girl on her artistic abilities, it seemed as if no one had‍ ever acknowledged her talent before.

This encounter, Jaeger said, served as a reminder of the crucial role arts play ⁤in today’s education. STEAM, an educational approach that integrates arts into the well-known STEM model ‌(science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), is a testament to this.

“Arts are an ‌integral ‍part of STEAM,” she said.‍ “Not only was the ⁤girl’s ‍invention interesting, but she⁣ also​ discovered a talent she‌ didn’t know she possessed. From⁤ that day forward, she ​was always sketching.”

Such experiences motivate Jaeger to continue reaching out to⁣ local students, ⁢showing them the‍ potential opportunities that await them.

Jaeger, a native‍ of Niskayuna,‍ grew up⁢ near GE’s Global Research facility on River Road. She always aspired to work ⁣for​ the company.

While interning at the Albany District Attorney’s Office during her studies at Albany Law⁣ School, Jaeger was offered an ‌internship‌ at ‌GE. ⁤She seized the opportunity, ⁢working⁢ as‌ a legal operation intern under GE Licensing in 2013-2014.

“Working for GE Licensing opened my eyes to ⁤the field of intellectual property. No ​other area of ⁢practice seemed as fascinating,” ⁤she said.

Before ‌this internship, Jaeger thought she might pursue a career in criminal law.

It‍ was during her time at GE that Jaeger ⁢developed​ a deep affection for​ the ​company. She worked elsewhere until 2016 when she officially joined GE as an employee.

While Jaeger enjoys her ⁣role in the GE Licensing ⁣team, which ⁤involves identifying potential ways to ⁤commercialize GE’s technologies⁤ and assets,‍ she is also passionate about⁤ providing local ‍youth with opportunities to explore their interests in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

Jaeger is an active member of GE’s Women’s Network of⁢ the Capital Region, which collaborates​ with ‌local schools and⁣ youth ‍organizations on ​STEAM programming. She is also⁤ involved with⁣ GE Girls, a summer camp sponsored by ⁣GE and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, aimed at introducing girls to the opportunities in STEAM⁢ fields.

This year, Jaeger will serve as the Capital ⁣Region leader for GE‌ Girls,⁣ collaborating with the ⁤Girl Scouts of Northeastern ⁢New York, Rise High, ​PREFACE, and the Schenectady City ‍School District.

“I believe it’s crucial to​ expose ⁣them to the variety of careers available to them, jobs they ‌might not have known about otherwise.⁣ By introducing them⁣ to ⁢the world⁣ of STEM and ‌the work GE does, we ⁤can help them ⁢envision their ‍place in this field,” she said.

Jaeger, who feels privileged to work in fields traditionally dominated by ⁤men, is particularly interested in ‌reaching out to underrepresented and underserved students.

“There are students who are historically underrepresented or underserved in law or in STEAM. It’s important for these ⁣students to see ​what they‍ can achieve,” she said. “I believe⁣ both law and⁣ STEAM need students and professionals like them‍ to contribute to ​the field​ and drive progress. I feel​ a personal mission to​ show all students what they can achieve, especially those​ who⁢ have been historically underrepresented or underserved. I see immense potential in many of these students, and⁣ they often‌ don’t realize the ⁤skills they possess‌ and how they can leverage‌ them in their future ⁤careers. ​Exposing them to the possibilities and igniting their⁢ passion is of utmost importance.”

For instance, ‍during a summer program⁢ tour of a‌ GE building, a young boy eagerly asked what he needed to do to work at GE — a high ‌school diploma,⁢ a college degree?

Jaeger ⁤remembers the ⁤boy’s “eyes lighting up” when the tour guide explained the ⁤various paths he‍ could take to work at GE.

“The realization that he could achieve⁣ his dream, regardless of the path he chose, seemed to thrill him,” she said. “There are many moments like​ this when students realize‌ that their interests and talents can lead to‌ a fulfilling career, and that such a⁤ career is possible right​ here​ in ⁢Schenectady.”

In recognition of her ​efforts to⁤ inspire ‌students about law and ⁣STEAM‌ fields, Jaeger will be honored by the YWCA of ‍Northeastern New⁢ York at ​its 41st annual Empowerment Awards Gala⁢ in March. She will receive the STEAM‌ award.

“I never expected to receive such an⁣ honor,” she said. “It⁣ feels surreal, because to me, this is just part of what I do.”

She described the award as an “incredible honor”.

“I hope to live up⁣ to this honor ⁤in the coming years as I continue ⁢to nurture and expand ​this initiative in the community,” she said. “I believe it’s of utmost importance, and I feel like I’m⁢ just getting started.”

She‌ added that she enjoys‌ these programs as much as the kids do.

When⁢ not‍ working ⁤or mentoring young minds, ‌Jaeger enjoys​ working out‍ at her ⁣favorite gym, Hardwired Fitness in the Stockade. She ⁤is also an avid hiker, having ⁢climbed 34 ‍of the 46 high peaks ‌in the Adirondacks. Jaeger also enjoys spending time at Frog Alley and‌ cherishes moments with her family and friends.

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Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton, a skillful journalist previously based in Boston, is adept at covering a diverse array of stories. Her thorough and engaging reporting style, honed with a Master's in Journalism from Boston University, focuses on community-relevant stories.
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1 COMMENT

  1. Agree – Great to see a focus on STEAM education for young minds! Excited to see the impact Sarah Jaeger will have at GE. #STEAMeducation

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