Intel, YWCA Metro Phoenix and SRP Launch Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0 - AZEdNews
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Intel, YWCA Metro Phoenix and SRP Launch Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0


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  • Mayra Vasquez-Chavez   |   Intel and YWCA

Intel Corporation and YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix are Collaborating Through The Equity In STEAM Initiative 2.0.

Applications open September 22 for grants to advance representation in STEAM across Arizona

Intel Corporation and YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix are collaborating for the second consecutive year to inspire the next generation of Arizona innovators in STEAM –science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics— through the Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0.

Black and Hispanic women make up a growing, 16 percent of the U.S. population, yet they only make up four percent of U.S. scientists and engineers, according to the U.S. National Science Foundation.


Salt River Project (SRP) joins the partnership this year with total investments topping $120,000. This includes grants for educators and nonprofit administrators as well as an opportunity to participate in an Equity Leadership Learning Series cohort. 

Educators, schools, and nonprofits can apply for one of 20 grants worth $2,500 each. The application process opens September 22, 2022, and closes on November 30, 2022. The initiative seeks to close the Grand Canyon-sized gap of women and people of color in STEAM industries.

“Arizona has a tremendous opportunity to include more women and people of color in STEAM to reflect our diverse current and future workforce and drive economic growth,” said Jennifer Sanchez, Community Affairs manager at Intel Arizona. “Equity in STEAM connects leaders from across our state to identify barriers and develop innovative solutions to close gender and racial gaps for a vibrant, more inclusive future.”

SRP’s sponsorship will provide funds for speakers’ workshops, learning materials and resources to inspire students and young adults to pursue a future in STEAM.

“SRP is a leader and advocate of education in Arizona,” said Andrea Moreno, Community Stewardship program manager at SRP. “We are excited to join Intel and YWCA this year. As the nation’s third-largest not-for-profit, public power provider, SRP employs a diverse pool of engineers, technology, math and science professionals. The support is an investment into our future workforce.”

In addition to receiving grants to fund projects, grantees will also be a part of an Equity Leadership Learning Series cohort, consisting of four workshops with conversations and learnings while exploring the intersection of social equity and STEAM.

“YWCA is elated to galvanize changemakers in STEAM statewide. Intel, SRP, and YWCA all have a strong mission to make our communities better, more equitable places. The Equity in STEAM Initiative uplifts and amplifies voices for positive change,” said Debbie Esparzachief executive officer at YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix.

Upon completion of the inaugural Equity Leadership Series in spring 2022, 72 percent of the participants, which were educators and nonprofit administrators, say they felt more confident in implementing culturally relevant solutions. The statistic increased by 35 percent compared to when the initiative started.

“Through the Equity in STEAM grant and training, our students are learning to be leaders in the STEAM world. Their learning will be supported by innovative, personalized experiences that could not happen in a traditional classroom capacity,” said Sang Hee Kim, director for Girls Innovation Academy and 2022 Equity in STEAM cohort grantee.

To qualify, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or a public/charter school or teacher; have a budget of less than $1 million; and project proposals must support Arizona residents between Feb. 1, 2023, through Sept. 1, 2023. Grantees will be announced in January 2023.

To learn more about the Equity in STEAM Initiative and the 2022 cohort, and apply for the grant opportunity, visit https://ywcaaz.org/equityinsteam/

About Intel in Arizona: Intel began operations in Arizona in 1979, and today is home to more than 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. For more information, contact Cambria Bowman at 480-232-7916 or cambria@ywcaaz.org.

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.