SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Several hundred students packed into the Savannah Convention Center on Thursday to learn from leaders in STEM.

“We’re taking students from across the southeast region and engaging them to build the next generation of STEM leaders,” said Robert Gould, the event’s organizer. “So we have leaders from across the country who’ve come in science and technology, construction, engineering to prepare the next workforce of innovation, technology in engineering jobs.”

More than 700 students came to learn from those experts leading their fields. The students were looking to take the next step in their lives.

Gould said he takes pride in bridging the gap between the students and these leaders. Gould said the goal of the Big Tide Changemakers Summit is to teach students that no matter where they come from they deserve a seat at the table.

“That’s what change really stems from, it stems from the ability to see that you can achieve and so we’re allowing the students to see but then we are giving them the tangible curriculum and career exploration to achieve,” Gould said.

Leaders like WSAV’s Tina Tyus-shaw, New York Times Bestseller Stedman Graham and Nike executive spoke with the students about their careers and what they had to overcome.

Later on, the students also got to shake hands and speak with those who could be signing their checks soon.

Leah Spann, a student at Savannah Early College said she wants to become a lawyer. Spann also said one speaker, in particular, had a huge impact on her.

“It spoke to me because she said she’s not supposed to be at the table, that she is as a Black woman and in the fortunate spot that she is in, and it spoke to me a lot.”

Spann also said she was inspired to make a change in her life and the world. She said in order to excel she’ll take more time to listen.