As part of their ongoing collaboration to advance the mission of President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, SUNY Old Westbury and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory hosted nearly 150 local students at the College on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 for “Maintaining Momentum: From High School to College.” This event follows up on the day of mentorship and engagement in science held at Brookhaven Lab last month, and provided an opportunity for the students to meet faculty and student researchers, tour key campus facilities, and learn about important programs available to support their future academic interests.
The participating students – most from economically challenged, diverse high schools on Long Island and New York City – were paired with college and career mentors to expose them to the skills and tools needed to advance to postsecondary education or training, and encourage them to reach for their full potential. At the same time, the Brookhaven Lab and SUNY Old Westbury mentors’ goal is to raise awareness and interest in studies in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
“It was imperative for us at the College to sustain the relationships we made with these young men and women at Brookhaven Lab during our first event to create the type of impactful partnership that ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ inspires,” said SUNY Old Westbury President Calvin O. Butts, III, who provided the event’s welcoming remarks. “It was an honor to have such eager minds on our campus learning from leaders in the STEM industries, and we hope to welcome them back as students in the years to come.”
The day’s program included tours of the SUNY Old Westbury campus, presentations from current student-researchers, and an overview of the College’s Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), the state-funded initiative providing services to historically underrepresented students interested in STEM and licensed professions. Old Westbury’s award-winning CSTEP program provides participants with academic advising, research and internship opportunities, enrichment and developmental workshops, among other benefits.
“The first event we co-hosted with SUNY Old Westbury at the Lab in March was exciting and uplifting for all involved,” said Brookhaven National Laboratory Director Doon Gibbs, “Today, we built upon our momentum, with the help of all of those at Old Westbury, Brookhaven, and beyond who have joined together to inspire these motivated young men and women and to present opportunities for them to become the Nation’s—and Long Island’s—next generation of scientists and engineers.”
My Brother’s Keeper is a public-private initiative launched by President Obama in February 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by young men of color and to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. Supported by the White House, several departments of government, and many foundations and corporations, this long-term program joins federal, state, and local government agencies with businesses, educational institutions, and foundations, who together are taking important steps to connect young people to mentors, support networks, and the skills they need to succeed.
About SUNY Old Westbury: SUNY Old Westbury is among the most diverse liberal arts colleges in America where students are challenged to take ownership of their futures through an environment that demands academic excellence, fosters intercultural understanding, and endeavors to stimulate a passion for learning and a commitment to building a more just and sustainable world.
About Brookhaven National Laboratory: One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, environmental, and biological sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.
Photo caption: Student participants check out SUNY Old Westbury's 3D printer technology.