Gilead Sciences Supports CuriOdyssey's New Regional Education Initiative for BIPOC Youth

Gilead Sciences granted $500K to launch CuriOdyssey STEMCorps, a new, comprehensive education initiative for youth from the Asian American, Pacific Islander, Latinx, Hispanic, Black, and Indigenous communities. This gift underscores Gilead's commitment to diversify and advance STEM opportunities in the Bay Area. The new program will connect a CuriOdyssey trained team of educators, mentors and community partners to support youth from underrepresented communities and empower them to pursue opportunities in STEM learning. The project is being piloted in the Bay Area.

"Young people from underrepresented communities often lack critical connections that can lead them to STEM education and employment. Our investment in CuriOdyssey STEMCorps will help transform young people's lives by providing mentors to support and encourage their interest in STEM and drive better outcomes in school, the workplace and our communities," said Brett Pletcher, EVP, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel at Gilead Sciences.

CuriOdyssey, a champion of early science learning for more than 65 years, recognizes that underrepresented youth face systemic barriers throughout their education and daily lives which contributes to the lack of diversity seen in STEM fields today. The STEMCorps initiative will enhance the resources available for BIPOC youth to pursue STEM learning in a safe space where they can connect with and be encouraged by supportive role models. CuriOdyssey STEMCorps is designed to empower students to amplify their voice, achieve their educational goals and envision a pathway to a STEM career.

"When I was a kid, I really struggled in math. I was lucky to get connected to a great mentor who made math real and fun," said Aragon Burlingham, Executive Director of CuriOdyssey. "Wouldn't it be great if every kid had access to that same kind of boost? That's what we are working to achieve with CuriOdyssey STEMCorps."

STEMCorps will assemble and train a diverse team of individuals and organizations that influence a child's learning by focusing on four key learning pillars:

  1. STEM Mentors: CuriOdyssey will train a team of STEM professionals in our signature approach to science learning and pair volunteer mentors with youth to prepare them for success through career advice and academic support.
  2. Teacher Professional Development: Through a professional learning program, CuriOdyssey will support teachers in their work to develop and integrate inquiry-based STEM learning for BIPOC students.
  3. Youth Advocacy and Leadership Program: CuriOdyssey will connect participating STEMCorps youth with resources to take charge of their STEM education and career exploration. Youth will develop leadership, critical thinking and the ability to advocate for change in their community.
  4. Community Partnerships: CuriOdyssey is working with schools and community-based organizations that serve BIPOC youth to amplify STEM learning in the Bay Area.

The comprehensive program will support youth on their learning journey and empower them to reach their goals. This approach will enhance in-class learning through teacher professional development, provide inspiration and understanding through one-on-one mentoring and strengthen skills through leadership development opportunities, all with the support of community partners. CuriOdyssey is seeking to work with teachers, community organizations, STEM professionals and BIPOC youth in the Bay Area. If interested, visit stemcorps.curiodyssey.org.

About Gilead Sciences, Inc. 

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.

Source: CuriOdyssey Science Center and Zoo

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Categories: K through 12

Tags: Bay Area, BIPOC, Education, Mentoring, Science, STEM, Teachers, Young People of Color