Girls Build LA brought thousands of young women together from LA County middle and high schools for a special screening of the 20th Century Fox film "Hidden Figures" on Tuesday.
The film stars Taraji P. Henson (Katherine G. Johnson), Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughan) and Janelle Monáe (Mary Jackson) and tells the true story of African American female mathematicians who helped NASA launch the first astronaut into orbit.
Ten thousand middle and high school girls from across LA County gathered for a screening of "Hidden Figures" at USC's Galen Center in Exposition Park.
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"You are the master of your fate, remember that," Spencer said.
Monáe joined her costars and Pharrell Williams, producer and songwriter, in motivating the girls to emulate the real life stars of the film.
"These are your new superheroes," Monáe told the crowd.
The producer of the film Peter Chernin said he hopes the film's message resonates with at least one girl.
"If we reach one girl, much less hundreds, much less thousands, it will be one of the most satisfying things as a producer I can imagine."
The students are part of Girls Build LA, a program of the LA Promise Fund which helps girls use science, technology, engineering and math to better their communities and improve their own chances for advancement.
"It's all about female empowerment, it's all about making sure that we support each other with what we want to do," student Rosibel Villalobos said.
The girls received support from the film's stars who shared their favorite words to live by.
Actor Aldis Hodge said "you are never a product of your environment. Your environment is a product of you."
Williams told the girls to embrace what makes them different.
"That which makes you different is what makes you special."
Monáe offered relationship advice.
"If you are in a relationship with someone who does not support your dreams, ditch them," she said. "You are meant to do great things and you should always have the support of your significant other."
Women make up only about 25 percent of the STEM field, while Latinos and blacks make up less than 3 percent. The organizers of the "Hidden Figures" event hope the film and the Girls Build LA program will help increase those numbers.