Lee Ann Kline, founder of STEM Advantage, accepts AARP's 2024 Purpose Prize

STEM Advantage Founder Lee Ann Kline Honored as 2024 AARP Purpose Prize® Fellow

AARP recognizes amazing individuals for their tenacity, innovation, and drive to shape their communities for the better

Huntington Beach, CA – AARP hosted their annual Purpose Prize awards in Washington, D.C. to recognize outstanding individuals who leverage their life experiences to bring about meaningful change and spearhead exceptional initiatives within their communities. Among the honorees was Lee Ann Kline, Founder and President of STEM Advantage, acknowledged as an AARP Purpose Prize Fellow. Kline was commended for her unwavering commitment to advancing educational and professional opportunities for women and underserved communities.

Kline put her experience, passion and network to practice providing young people with opportunities to advance in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).  In 2012, STEM Advantage was created to help achieve gender and racial equity through education and career development. 

STEM graduates go on to “pay it forward” as role models and mentors in their communities.

“Lee Ann has been instrumental in helping me gain confidence and helping me stand my ground when negotiating for an equitable salary and better opportunities as I’ve progressed on my career journey,” says STEM Advantage Alumna Emily Sanchez, Senior Software Engineer at Farmers Insurance Group. “I am so grateful to have someone like Lee Ann leading STEM Advantage and working the extra mile so that other students like me can have a chance at reaching goals that one day seemed unattainable.”

The AARP Purpose Prize award recognizes individuals and their organizations for empowering change and demonstrating outstanding contributions to their community. This prestigious award acknowledges Lee Ann Kline’s dedication to STEM Advantage and to making a positive difference in the lives of women and underserved communities and reflects the spirit of AARP’s commitment to fostering social change and inspiring generations to come.

The AARP Purpose Prize exemplifies the power of experience and demonstrates that when individuals find their sense of purpose it helps make a better place for everyone. The Fellow recipients receive $10,000 along with a year of technical support to help broaden the scope of their organization’s work and impact.

Melanie Hildebrandt, EVP & CIO at Endeavor and STEM Advantage Board Member, “Lee Ann has built this organization from the ground up and has worked tirelessly to ensure each person has access to the funds, professional networks and roles needed to position them to succeed in a STEM career. If they can see it, they can be it.”

About STEM Advantage

STEM Advantage is a nonprofit organization providing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career opportunities to California State University students, the largest and most ethnically diverse 4-year public university system in the nation.

Mentor, prepare and inspire women and underserved communities to pursue STEM careers through internships, mentorships, scholarships, professional and career development, and community. To learn more, visit stemadvantage.org

Media Contact

STEM Advantage
Cindy McKenzie

Media Contact

Henry Kenney III
(202) 714-0214