21 Nonprofits & educators awarded up to $3,000 in Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0 - AZEdNews
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21 Nonprofits & educators awarded up to $3,000 in Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0


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  • Mayra Vasquez   |   Equity in Steam Initiative 2.0

Equity In STEAM Initiative 2.0 Graphic Courtesy Of Equity In STEAM Initiative

 Intel CorporationYWCA Metropolitan Phoenix, and Salt River Project (SRP) recognized three educators and 18 nonprofits as participants of the Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0 cohort.

The initiative invested $120,000 towards closing the Grand Canyon-sized gap of women and people of color in Arizona’s STEAM industries, where nationally Black and Hispanic women make up an increasing 16 percent of the U.S. population but make up only four percent of U.S. scientists and engineers.

“With the growing technology industry in Arizona, it’s critical our students, the next generation, know they belong in STEAM, regardless of the zip code they call home,” said Jennifer Sanchez, Community Affairs Manager at Intel Arizona

21 Nonprofits & educators awarded up to $3,000 in Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0 Equity-in-STEAM-2.0-cohort-1024x683
Congratulations to the Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0 cohort. Photo courtesy Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0

This year’s cohort includes seven returning grantees from last year’s inaugural cohort and 14 new grantees who will be awarded grants between $2,500-$3,000. Grants will fund a variety of programs including robotics programs and leadership workshops aimed at inspiring underrepresented communities to explore a career pathway in the industry.  

The three educators are: Casteel High School, Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School, and Phoenix Elementary School District #1

“I am trying to encourage young girls to achieve careers as scientists, engineers, robotics, and more. The grant will help prepare our students for a bright future after high school,” said Robin Flyte, a science teacher at Casteel High School. 

The 18 nonprofits include: 

·       Aguila Youth Leadership Institute

·       Arizona Alliance of Black School Educators

·       Arizona Kids THINK Too

·       Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology (AZ StRUT)

·       Arizona Sustainability Alliance

·       Chinle Planting Hope

·       Cultural Coalition Inc.

·       Education Empowers Inc.

·       Faith Missionary Baptist Church

·       Friends of the Avondale Libraries

·       Future for KIDS

·       Future Stars Inc.

·       Lights Camera Discover

·       Mo-Energee Youth Foundation

·       Rising Youth Theatre

·       Si Se Puede Foundation

·       Sounds of Autism

·       Vessels of Possibilities

“Diverse experiences and voices bring forward innovation, and these 21 grantees are blazing a path for students, people of color, and women to become creators, leaders, and gamechangers in their future careers,” said Andrea Moreno, Community Stewardship program manager at SRP.

21 Nonprofits & educators awarded up to $3,000 in Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0 Jennifer-Sanchez-Intel-Robin-Flyte-Casteel-High-School-Debbie-Esparza-YWCA-Andrea-Moreno-SRP-1024x683
From left to right: Jennifer Sanchez with Intel, Robin Flyte with Casteel High School, Debbie Esparza with YWCA and Andrea Moreno with SRP at the event announcing the cohort on Saturday, Jan. 14. Photo courtesy Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0

In addition to receiving grants to fund programs and resources, awardees will join the YWCA Equity Leadership Learning series which includes four Equity Workshops to facilitate conversations and learnings exploring the intersection of social equity and STEAM.

Upon completion of the first Equity in STEAM Initiative Leadership Series last year, the inaugural cohort reported the following results: 

·       95% of participants feel more comfortable discussing racial and social equity topics, up from 59% when the initiative started. 

·       72% of participants feel more confident in implementing culturally relevant solutions, up from 35% when the initiative started.

“There is plenty of space in the pipeline for people of all cultures and communities to thrive. The Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0 cohort is making a powerful difference to break down the barriers and inspire the next generation to believe in their talent,” said Debbie Esparza, Chief Executive Officer at YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix.

Program details and past initiative materials are available at https://ywcaaz.org/equityinsteam/

About Intel in Arizona: Intel began operations in Arizona in 1979, and today is home to 12,000 Arizonans developing and manufacturing technology that is the foundation to addressing some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For questions, contact Linda Qian at 480-552-4086 or linda.l.qian@intel.com.

About YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix: Since 1912, YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix has been on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, and strengthen communities through creating safe spaces for brave conversations and providing services to various populations to ensure their prosperity. YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix is part of an international movement serving over two million in the United States and 25 million worldwide. 

About SRP: SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest electricity provider in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving approximately 1.1 million customers. SRP provides water to about half of the Valley’s residents, delivering more than 244 billion gallons of water (750,000 acre-feet) each year, and manages a 13,000-square-mile watershed that includes an extensive system of reservoirs, wells, canals, and irrigation laterals.