March 27, 2017 – San Diego, CA – The San Diego Foundation announced $390,880 in grants for five programs that will create more opportunities for students, particularly from underserved communities, pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees and career pathways at local community colleges, universities, companies and organizations.

The Science and Technology grants will support and encourage post-secondary students with high potential in the scientific, medical and engineering fields, and provide them with opportunities to nurture and develop unique and innovative discoveries and experiences that may benefit all mankind.

The 2017 grant recipients are Palomar Community College District, San Diego Workforce Partnership, California State University San Marcos and the Zoological Society of San Diego.

“By supporting our region’s future scientists and engineers, The San Diego Foundation is building a pipeline of local professionals that will grow and strengthen San Diego’s innovation economy today, and into the future,” emphasized Kathlyn Mead, President and CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “With a focus on inclusion and underserved students, we hope to inspire all students, no matter their gender, race or background, to believe that a STEM career is within their reach.”

This year, building on success from the 2016 grants, The Life Sciences Summer Institute High School Student Research Program at San Diego Workforce Partnership and STEM Summer Scholars Program at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) will receive a second year of funding to maximize the impact of the two successful programs. In 2016, the CSUSM STEM Summer Scholars Program provided 12 students from underserved communities with a 10-week undergraduate experience that integrated research and education through hands-on learning and a strong laboratory-based curriculum.

“The STEM Summer Scholars Program gave me the opportunity gain experience and confidence in a research setting,” explained program graduate Gloria Diaz, who will soon be pursuing her doctorate thanks to her success at CSUSM. “After the first few weeks of the program, the pressures of high quality performance in lab no longer intimidated me and my program mentor helped me strengthen my skills and guided me in structuring my career after college.”

Since 1999, the Program has granted $7.3 million to support more than 150 early career scientists and engineers in San Diego. The Science and Technology Program is funded in part by the Blasker-Rose-Miah Endowment Fund at The San Diego Foundation and The Reuben H. Fleet Foundation. For more information about or to contribute to the Program, visit

The 2017 grants were awarded to:

Palomar Community College District
“Making” Future Technology and Engineering Majors – $97,880
Making” Future Technology and Engineering Majors is a project-based bridging program designed to complement mathematics instruction in the first year of a two-year technology and engineering guided pathway program. The program will provide valuable exposure to technology and engineering design process preparing students for success in STEM/STEAM careers that demand 21st century skills. The two-year guided pathway program is designed to transfer Palomar students to CSU San Marcos School of Engineering.

San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP)
Life Sciences Summer Institute High School Student Research Program – $75,000
In its second year of funding, Life Sciences Summer Institute High School Student Research Program prepares the next generation of San Diego scientists by connecting students and teachers with leading San Diego life sciences companies through internships, hands-on laboratory training, mentorship, work-readiness skills preparation and college credit. This program has a focus on connecting students from underrepresented backgrounds to companies, including woman and minorities, increasing the diversity and talent that will support growth of the sector.

San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP)
SDWP STEM Education to Employment Summer Bridge – $75,000
The program is an expansion of the San Diego Workforce Partnership CONNECT2Careers program and the One San Diego 100 initiative, which calls on 100 STEM-employers to engage with SDWP and its partners in STEM-related work-based learning.  This grant will support 12 students by creating paid STEM internships, providing financial literacy education and services, and career planning involving both students and their parents. This investment will promote the growth and connectivity of the STEM ecosystem in San Diego.

California State University San Marcos
STEM Summer Scholars – $75,000
Receiving its second year of funding, The STEM Summer Scholars program will provide 12 students from underserved communities with a 10-week undergraduate experience that aims to integrate research and education. Students will develop research skills working alongside faculty on projects addressing fundamental questions in science. With a programmatic theme of scientific communication as a civic responsibility, students will also become more confident and accomplished sharing their knowledge, thoughts, and ideas with diverse audiences.

Zoological Society of San Diego
San Diego Zoo Global Professional Internships in Nutritional Services – $68,000
This grant will provide eight internships for practical work experience in science-based conservation organization and demonstrate how science underpins evidence-based management of species. The program enables students to apply theoretical knowledge gained through classroom study to real-world, concrete situations, explore career options in the natural sciences and strengthen their motivation to complete their studies.

About The San Diego Foundation

The San Diego Foundation maximizes the impact of your charitable giving. We mobilize philanthropic resources to advance quality of life, increase social impact and champion civic engagement. For more than 40 years, The Foundation and our donors have granted more than $1 billion to grow a vibrant San Diego region. Learn more on our website, and consider a donation to the Fund for the Future Endowment which supports San Diego community needs now and forever.


Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600,
Justin Nunez, The San Diego Foundation, 619-235-2300,