Mentoring makes a difference. A young person thrives when they know someone cares about their future and they receive guidance about educational and career options. When faced with the choice to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), too often our traditionally underserved college students are opting out. As a result, too few students are graduating with the STEM skills companies need to compete.

Mentors provide a vital role in the success of STEM Advantage Scholars and our program, providing a role model of a successful STEM professional, as well as:

  • Providing personal support, guidance, and coaching on the life skills that will help students stay in college and complete a bachelor’s degree in a STEM discipline
  • Exposing students to the lifelong benefits of higher education and a career in a STEM-related field
  • Helping students with soft skills, such as reviewing their resume and LinkedIn profile, practicing interviews, and helping them tell their story
  • Being a trusted advocate, one whom students feel comfortable asking questions related to school, work, and life

Mentors commit to meet with their mentee for one hour, once a month, for one year or “1-1-1” via vide or in person. Mentors and mentees complete a Mentoring Worksheet which they may use to prioritize and discuss goals.

To be a mentor, please contact Lee Ann Kline at

STEM Career Pathways for Freshman

STEM Career Pathway’s goal is to increase awareness of STEM career paths, the value of a STEM degree and drive persistence in a STEM major. It is comprised of three key components: mentoring circles with STEM Advantage Alumni, professional and career development programs, and events and online discussion groups to build community. It also prepares freshman to join the STEM Advantage Scholars program as a sophomore so that they can gain the full benefit of the program.

STEM Career Pathways for Community College Students

STEM Career Pathway’s goal is to in help community college students understand career opportunities in a STEM field and paths to economic mobility, see the value of and feel motivated to earn a bachelor’s degree in a STEM major, and increase the transfer rate to a 4-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree. The program works with the CSUs and Community College’s to help to inform students how to optimize their community college experience and select a college that meets their needs. It is comprised of four key components: transfer and college selection tips, mentoring circles with STEM Advantage Alumni, professional and career development programs, and events and online discussion groups to build community.

“I’ve mentored 4 STEM Advantage scholars over the past 5 years and am currently mentoring a new scholar. The biggest contribution we can make is to be there for the students, to help them think through things and really be an active listener and sounding board. Once I am matched with a student I study up on their submission packet and like to setup a meet and greet as soon as possible. Mentorship to me is a two-way street where we learn from each other. I like to meet in person (now a days video or phone) at least once a month. And I like to keep the mentorship open to any and all topics that they might need support with. Everything from setting up meetings with senior executives who can give them pointers, to helping them come up with questions to ask prospective employers during interviews.“

Shawna GaleSenior Strategist, NIT Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

“My mentee, Charles Bickham, and I have become great friends. We’ve met several times for coffee and croissants and attended events together. While we’ve shared much together, I believe my greatest contributions to him have been to give him support and encouragement, and to provide professional guidance on a range of subjects, including interview preparation and performance, early career vision and developing a professional brand.”

Kevin GrayCIO, City of Burbank