SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The San Diego Foundation Friday announced $750,000 in grants to 13 nonprofit programs to create more opportunities for students -- particularly from underrepresented communities -- pursuing STEM degrees and careers.
Since 1999, the Science & Technology Program at The San Diego Foundation has granted more than $8 million to support scientists and engineers in San Diego. The Science and Technology Program is funded in part by the Blasker-Rose-Miah Endowment Fund at The San Diego Foundation and The Reuben H. Fleet Foundation.
According to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation's report, "Building San Diego's Talent Pipeline," the evolution of the economy has presented opportunities and challenges for the workforce. Among those challenges are Latino and Black communities being underrepresented in San Diego's highest-paying industries and occupations.
The nonprofit grants are:
-- PATHS at the University of California San Diego: The $75,000 grant will support the PATHS program, which provides students with financial aid, basic needs and socio-emotional support that allow them to concentrate their energies on pursuing their STEM degrees;
-- San Diego State University Research Foundation: The $75,000 grant will support the WE BELIEVE -- Women and Black Empowered Learners Interning in Engineering Environments -- program which develops a pipeline for historically underrepresented students in San Diego into STEM degree pathways via a research experience;
-- CREATE at the University of California San Diego: The $75,000 grant will expand the STEMULATE -- STEM Undergraduate Leadership and Teaching Empowerment -- program which provides low-income and underrepresented students with mentorship and internship opportunities;
-- Miramar College Foundation: The $75,000 grant will support the Supply Chain Experience program at the Southern California Biotechnology Center at San Diego Miramar College. The program improves career readiness among underrepresented community college students by connecting them with advanced internship opportunities and hands-on experience in a supportive environment;
-- California State University San Marcos: The $74,813 grant will allow more students to participate in the STEM Summer Scholars program, which provides instruction in the sciences to a diverse student population;
-- Office of Undergraduate Research, University of San Diego: The $70,000 grant will provide stipends and resources to underrepresented STEM students participating in the university's Pre-Undergraduate Research Experience and Summer Undergraduate Research Experience programs;
-- Access, Inc.: The $65,037 grant will help support youth who have experienced trauma and have overcome challenges, such as homelessness. Students are supported through case management to build incremental competencies and achieve academic and social milestones;
-- Palomar College Foundation: The $50,000 grant will fund the Palomar College STEM Robotics Summer Institute, which offers underserved students an opportunity to see themselves as future robotics engineers, developers and designers;
-- Interfaith Community Services: The $46,400 grant will support the Transitional Youth Academy 2021 STEM Summer Internship Program that provides historically underrepresented youth with opportunities to engage in hands-on experiences in STEM-focused paid internships;
-- Zoological Society of San Diego: The $42,600 grant will expand the reach of the San Diego Zoo Global Internships in Conservation Technology program, which helps underrepresented young adults who are pursuing degrees in computer science, data science and/or engineering;
-- San Diego Natural History Museum: The $40,000 grant will allow the Natural History Museum to offer STEM internships that build professional experience and expertise in research and biological consulting;
-- Salk Institute for Biological Studies: The $35,000 grant will enable more historically-underrepresented young adults to participate in the Heithoff-Brody High School Summer Scholars program. During the program, student scholars work on original research projects with Salk scientist-mentors and participate in other organized learning experiences as part of an eight-week, paid internship at the Salk Institute; and
-- Elementary Institute of Science: The $26,150 grant will connect underrepresented youth to STEM internships which move students into scientific and technical career pathways by engaging females from Title I high schools in a comprehensive drones education and certification program.