Overnight Camp Creates STEM Career Pathways for Underrepresented Students of Color

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TSEP took approximately 100 underrepresented high school students of color camping to learn about STEM related careers. Companies such as Walmart Labs, Zynga, and Trinet lead workshops with the goal of motivating the students to pursue STEM majors in college and work in the tech industry.

The Social Engineering Project, Inc. (“TSEP”) is an Oakland based Google and Microsoft funded social impact venture with Stanford University that is designed to address the lack of diversity in the tech industry. One of its programs is the TSEP Camping Conference, an overnight camp for underrepresented high school students of color throughout Northern California.

October 5-7, 2018, TSEP took approximately 100 underrepresented 9th-12th grade high school students camping to learn about math, science, engineering, and other STEM related careers during a 3 day overnight conference at Camp Cazadero. Buses from Santa Clara, Alameda, and Sacramento counties took the students and counselors from various tech professions to near the Russian River, where they were free of the typical high school distractions (no signal, no texting or Wi-Fi) and be one with nature.

Key Outcomes
a.) Desire to go to college;
b.) Pursue STEM related careers;
c.) Develop a deeper respect for the environment and work/life balance;
d.) Learn how to apply to college, excel on exams, seek financial aid, participate in college life; and
e.) Learn how to promote their personal brand, how to work in teams, engage in entrepreneurship, and network for future collaboration.

In order to expose our students to various career pathways, we needed highly engaging, hands-on- workshops from tech companies to motivate and inspire our students to go to college and major in STEM related majors in order to ultimately work in tech companies. This year, we had the following workshops and presenters:

1. SLA and Operations Management - lead by Walmart Labs is designed use math and engineering to problem solve error codes in order to reach a Service Level Agreement;
2. Explanation of the game developing process and various roles involved - lead by Zynga will teach students prototyping and provide an overview of the gaming industry;
3. Tech with a side of Customer Success - lead by TriNet will illuminate other careers in tech such as Client Success;
4. Lightening Rounds on Various Tech Careers; and
5. College Panel.

TSEP Camping Conference is sponsored by PG&E, Northrop Grumman, Airbnb, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. We are still fundraising to help students to attend who have applied for hardship scholarships. If you would like to contribute, please visit our GoFundMe campaign here http://bit.ly/TSEPgfm18.

For more information, please visit http://www.TheSocialEngineer.org.


DATES: Friday, October 5th at 10am through Sunday, October 7th at 4pm
LOCATION: Camp Cazadero, Guerneville, CA

The Social Engineering Project, Inc. is an Oakland based, Google and Microsoft funded social impact venture with Stanford University designed to address the lack of diversity in the tech industry. TSEP achieves this end through STEM pipeline programs that lead to technical career pathways for underrepresented students of color. TSEP’s sponsoring 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is the YMCA of the East Bay.

Kevin L. Nichols has worked in multifaceted capacities in some of the most prolific international law firms in the country, such as Morrison & Foerster, Paul Hastings, Heller Ehrman, and Hollan d & Knight. His interest in diversity and technology began while he was a mechanical engineering/diversity intern at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Later, he became the Executive Director of the California Diversity Council and the African American Wellness Project. Kevin has become a social networking expert and full-time consultant specializing in litigation technology (eDiscovery), diversity, and social media marketing for the legal industry. Nichols has been featured on LinkedIn’s Hall of Fame, Yahoo’s Blog, in the Examiner, CNN Money, Reuters, MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal. Millions saw Kevin while logging in to LinkedIn.com from 2011-2014. He is now the Founder of The Social Engineering Project, Inc., an Oakland based, Google and Microsoft funded, social impact venture with Stanford University designed to address the lack of diversity in the tech industry. Kevin attended the University of California, Berkeley and recently completed an Executive Program for Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. For a full biography and CV, please visit http://bit.ly/KLNport.

Here's a video summary of last year's camp http://bit.ly/TSEPcc18promo.

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