$250,000 for Aspiring Scientists of Color

The Kapor Foundation is pleased to announce a five year renewable gift of $250,000 to U.C. Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science to support the launch of the Berkeley Science Network (BSN).

BSN aims to strengthen the pipeline of students of color in the science disciplines where African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders are most severely underrepresented in academia and industry – mathematics, physical science and computer science.

BSN will create a vibrant academic and social network across generations of scientists of color – from aspiring high school students to undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral students, and faculty – by providing formal mentoring, networking, professional development activities and opportunities needed to advance in science.

BSN also will establish an additional connection between the University of California, Berkeley and the Summer Math and Science Honors (SMASH) Academy, a program of the Level Playing Field Institute. SMASH is a three-year summer math and science enrichment program for high achieving, low-income high-school students of color from the Bay Area to excel in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).  Through the network, SMASH scholars will benefit first hand from the experiential knowledge of Berkeley undergraduates and graduate students who have carved a similar path for themselves.

BSN will directly address one of the most critical domestic labor issues of our day, the development of highly-skilled, “home grown” talent in the sciences, while also creating a critical mass and community for students who are often isolated in their academic pursuits. We look forward to seeing the Berkeley Science Network launch and evolve over the next several years!

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