It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes dozens of non-profits dedicated to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to inspire our children to be the next generation of diverse, skilled, talented, and innovative STEM leaders of tomorrow.
Today, SDG&E gathered the leaders from more than 100 San Diego STEM nonprofits – many members of the San Diego STEM Ecosystem – to launch our company’s 2019 Inspiring Future Leaders (IFL) grant initiative to support programs that introduce and cultivate our youth’s interest in STEM.
SDG&E and its non-profit IFL partners hope to inspire kids to be the next Sylvia Acevedo, a former rocket scientist and now Girl Scouts USA CEO; the next Mae Jamison, the first African American woman to travel into space; or the next Sally Ride, the first woman American astronaut.
The late Sally Ride famously coined the term, “See it to be it.” Kids can’t be what they can’t see, and the IFL partners help to show our youth what they can be in the world of STEM.
Nonprofits that Educate and Innovate
The Barrio Logan College Institute is one of the organizations supported by our Inspiring Future Leaders initiative.
BLCI’s after-school programs offer tutoring, mentoring and college preparatory courses for students and their families beginning in third grade. BLCI has made an enormous impact in the Barrio Logan community, with 100 percent of BLCI high school graduates enrolling in college after graduation.
Beyond groups with a geographical focus, Inspiring Future Leaders also supports organizations like the San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center’s Hillcrest Youth Center (HYC). The only drop-in center in San Diego County dedicated to the needs of LGBTQ+ youth in the region, HYC recently added a South Bay location. The nonprofit provides roughly 300 youth each month with a safe space and resources for health education, basic financial literacy and youth leadership training—services that would not be available without HYC.
The Alpine Education Foundation’s “Wheel of Experts" is a multiple pathway program that brings STEM-based learning to the classroom. Each week, students in kindergarten through fifth grade have the opportunity to participate in hands-on enrichment topics such as coding/robotics, science labs, music, and gardening/aquaponics – creating a direct pathway to electives offered in sixth-eighth grades.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside’s S.T.R.E.A.M: Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics program connects kids to the 21st century skills necessary to compete and be successful. The core idea of inquiry-based learning is that real-world problems capture students’ interest and provoke serious thinking as the students acquire and apply new knowledge in a problem-solving context.
Family engagement remains important as research shows that children thrive when role models and adult mentors are active in their lives. PIQE (Parent Institute for Quality Education) creates partnerships between parents, students, and educators to further students’ academic achievement that has been enhanced since our inception in 1987. Public schools value us, parents need us, and students use us as a springboard to their own personal and career success.
How Can You Get Involved?
Register as a partner and collaborate with the San Diego STEM Ecosystem today. Nonprofit organizations seeking support are invited to apply online for the Inspiring Future Leaders grant now through April 22. SDG&E will accept grant requests ranging from $2,500 to $25,000.