The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation announced Los Alamitos Youth Center as its latest recipient of an Orange County Community Support Grant. The $25,000 grant will expand the Youth Center’s Girls in STEM program launched last October and developed to provide STEM workshops to young learners. Los Alamitos Youth Center is a 501c3 established in 1952 and is the longest running nonprofit in Los Alamitos, focused on building pathways to success for children. The Youth Center seeks to ensure the well-being of each youth participant by using a developmental and educational approach in programs that emphasize physical, emotional, creative, and cognitive capacities.
“Our Girls in STEM program was designed by high school senior, Sarah Saadeh, driven by her desire to increase female representation in STEM professions,” stated Lina Lumme, Executive Director and CEO of Los Alamitos Youth Center. “Sarah’s dream is to empower young, creative females to engineer a better world for future generations, and it is incredible to watch girls go through this program. At first, many do not know what scientist or engineer careers look like – but they become fully engaged in the activities, passionate about science, and then graduate from the experience committed to the field of science.”
The funding will support production of additional workshops and introduce more hands-on activities, expanding the Youth Center’s 7-week workshops to 10 weeks with new technology and coding classes. Emphasis is being placed on coding because it is used to create myriad technologies and has practical applications to personal and professional lives. Participants will discover the basics of coding and learn about a variety of careers within the field. Other workshop topics include chemistry, weather, engineering, mathematics, presentation and public speaking.
“We’re excited to support worthwhile programs such as Girls in STEM, and to build on the momentum it has created within the Orange County community engaging young girls in hands-on science like volcano experiments, tornado in a jar, and other activities that encourage curiosity,” shared Dr. Anne Hultgren, Executive Director of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. “The Los Alamitos Youth Center is working to increase diversity in science through exploration in fun, interactive ways and we’re proud to partner with them in these endeavors.”
Local Community Grants are awarded for Orange County, California community-based STEM/STEAM projects, activities or events that complement the Foundation’s aim of “supporting young scientists today for tomorrow’s breakthrough discoveries.” Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with funding decisions made in October and May.
About the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation
Located in Irvine, California, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation supports researchers and nonprofit research institutions in making the next generation of breakthroughs in chemistry and the life sciences. Founded in 1978 by 20th century scientific instrumentation pioneer Dr. Arnold O. Beckman, the Foundation supports United States institutions and young scientists whose creative, high-risk, and interdisciplinary research will lead to innovations and new tools and methods for scientific discovery. For more information, visit beckman-foundation.org.