Their mission? To share their stories and serve as high-profile role models for girls, in hopes it leads to a new generation of women getting into science, technology, engineering and math [STEM].

“We firmly believe that if we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world,” Lyda Hill, the founder of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, said in a statement. “The goal of IF/THEN is to shift the way our country — and the world — think about women in STEM and this requires changing the narratives about women STEM professionals and improving their visibility.”

Perez, who is now a fossil preparator at the Perot Museum, worked with paleontologist Louis Jacobs and others to unearth never-before-seen fossils from Angola. Those fossils are currently on display at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Learn more about Perez in this video, Myria Perez: Portrait of a Paleontologist. You can also read about the award she won in The Dallas Morning News article.