Support, ENcourage and Develop for Children, Inc. (SENDforC)
Award-winning 501(c)3 Charitable and Educational Nonprofit Organization
We aim to provide outstanding student-driven K-12 STEM research initiatives and educational programs to foster entrepreneurship among youth and to solve tangible community issues.
STEM-centered mentoring from 'big brother & sister' college students have the power to make a life-changing impact on K-12 students.
Collaborative student-led curriculum that engages by integrating socially relevant topics and prepares for success as critical STEM thinkers.
Addressing disparities in educational quality / access by partnering with and delivering programs to undeserved local community schools.
Providing intensive training, documentation, persistent refinement and modest funding per chapter to spark high-impact and novel educational programs.
K-12 students are often discouraged from pursuing science and engineering due to a lack of clear learning purpose and a lack of approachable role models to seek advice and bring content to life. Through an immersive outreach program, SENDforC is able to make scientific research approachable, fun, hands-on and relevant to many students, including those who may not have access to such opportunities. These are provided at no cost to students or partnerships schools, thanks to the support of donors and supporters!
Students are challenged in an individualized learning environment throughout the two year program available to partnership schools. Three subject-areas ("tracks") are most commonly available: Hard Sciences, Engineering and Computer Science - each with their own distinct educational philosophy and pedagogy, with multidisciplinary curricula which teaches analytical research skills. Many other diverse potential tracks are defined and taught by our student chapters and research universities.
Based on their specific declared interests, K-12 students are paired with high-achieving, 'big brother and sister' role models via undergraduate students as mentors to facilitate development of their research and community projects.
These University Mentors are some of the most highly qualified individuals at their universities: they published everything from research papers to Amazon books, are honors students, student organization presidents, athletes, founded nonprofit and for-profit companies, won selective competitions and much more. They are practitioners of what they preach! Most mentor candidates are nominated or recruited on a one-by-one basis to assess their candidacy.
Our goals for our K-12 students include:
Educational equity and open-access: open to all students regardless of what is on their resumes or transcripts - partnership schools are selectively decided based on government data
Action-oriented learning: hands-on project techniques specific to each track are a significant part of each of our programs
Youth leadership: deploying community solutions and presenting ideas
Rigorous multidisciplinary education: relevant college and graduate level work are slowly presented and re-introduced
Through SENDforC, we have created a forward-driven outreach NPO platform which teaches students various applications of developmental engineering, physics, nanotechnology, computer science, biochemistry, biomedical sciences and several other subjects or 'Tracks' designed by our University Mentors and Educational Coordinators. SENDforC hosts a two year mentorship, independent research program, practicum, community co-op and entrepreneurial primer for each partnership K-12 site that pushes students to solve current, real-world issues, while also providing an opportunity for them to conduct long lasting community work and present their research in front of leaders in academia and industry. The initiative is a call to action to tackle meaningful community, social and global problems even for students at a young age.
Through 2 year education and training program offered to 30-40 students in addition to college advising, we hope to teach them advanced research skills and engage in addressing difficult community problems. We are expecting them to become successful and articulate youth innovators and as a program, are aiming for high acceptance rate into four-year universities.
Equity: The vast majority of the students involved in this program are anticipated to be the first in their families to attend college, were (or are) at risk of becoming homeless, come from a refugee background, and/or are in socioeconomic need or populations traditionally underrepresented in advanced science and engineering fields. This emphasis of inclusion serves an impactful way to uplift diverse communities and incubate a uniquely qualified source of future leaders.