BUILD PODER Jumpstarts Student Research Journeys for New Cohort

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The BUILD PODER 5th Annual Summer Jumpstart was attended by 27 new BUILD PODER scientists across many disciplines. Students participated in a four-week orientation training on campus which included courses on professional development, ethics in science, coding, social media and graduate school preparation. Students also attended research methods training courses in their discipline. The biology and biochemistry courses were taught by BUILD PODER staff member Alina Adamian, and the psychology and social sciences courses were taught by BUILD PODER alumna, Crystal Venegas. 

Students were engulfed in community building with activities planned by BUILD PODER Student Engagement Coordinator Cathy Smith. The program also supported building a sense of “family” among the students by sponsoring them to live on campus in the dorms during Jumpstart. 

Collage of BUILD PODER Scholars participating in 2019 Summer Jumpstart program“Summer Jumpstart connected me with a community of like-minded students and staff members,” said new BUILD PODER Scholar Keenan Manpearl. “It made my transition from community college seamless knowing that I already had a built in support system to help keep me on track and friends going through the exact same thing I was.”

With the foundation the program being rooted in Critical Race Theory and a focus on health disparities, students took part in two field trips – the Soul of a Nation exhibit at the Broad Museum, which featured Black artists from the civil rights era, and a beach clean up.

“Learning about critical race theory during our summer jumpstart has made me more aware of injustices and how it affects communities like my own,” said  new BUILD PODER Scholar Sandy Illescas. “Increasing educational awareness and the available resources is a collective effort, and in the future I plan to be a part of raising educational awareness in my community like the summer jumpstart program did for me. My educational career has just begun, but I am very grateful to BP for this wonderful opportunity that will allow me to realize my dreams and pay it forward to future generations.”

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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