For a second time this year the Yale Ciencia Initiative has been recognized by The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH). This time the organization has been highlighted for committing to launch The Voice of Experience, a bilingual online resource to help inform students about career possibilities in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) through the examples and “voices” of successful Latino STEM professionals.
The project is a collaboration of the Yale Ciencia Initiative with the Sacred Heart University of Puerto Rico, the EMC Corporation, the Banco Popular Foundation, and the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, through an NIH-funded Yale Clinical and Translational Sciences Award. Together, these organizations have committed approximately $75,000 of in-kind and direct funding support to develop an initial version of The Voice of Experience.
To be launched early next year, the innovative platform will feature video interviews with Latino professionals working in a diverse set of STEM-related careers. Professionals were recruited through Yale and Ciencia Puerto Rico, an online community of more than 7,200 scientists, educators, and students interested in enhancing science education and career opportunities for Latinos.
The initial commitment will directly impact 125 Hispanic middle school students in Puerto Rico and New Haven who will pilot the resource through after school programs. It is expected that an additional 1,000 students across the U.S. and Puerto Rico will access and utilize the website within the first year.
“We are very proud to be chosen as one of the Commitments to Action. STEM careers are the basis of our economy, provide direct social benefits, and are among the highest paying careers,” said Giovanna Guerrero-Medina, Director of the Yale Ciencia Initiative and Executive Director of Ciencia Puerto Rico. “It is of vital importance that we inspire and equip all students with role models and information to pursue these fields.”
The project is one of 150 commitments to action recognized as part of the WHIEEH’s 25th anniversary celebrations. President Obama announced these Commitments to Action, a collective investment of nearly $340 million, during the closing of National Hispanic Heritage month.
An effort of the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning, the Yale Ciencia Initiative seeks to expand access to scientific knowledge, experiences, and careers among communities or populations traditionally underrepresented in, or underserved by, the scientific enterprise. Along with Ciencia Puerto Rico, the Yale Ciencia Initiative was previously recognized as a “Brightspot” in STEM education for Hispanics.
The full list of Commitments to Action for Hispanics in Education can be found at www.ed.gov/HispanicInitiative.