“Throughout high school, the RISE program had a strong impact on my decision to pursue a degree in biology,” said Charn Singh, who just finished her junior year at CSU Monterey Bay.

“RISE expanded my interest in science and provided me invaluable support and guidance.”

Singh’s experience is exactly what the RISE – Recruitment in Science Education – program was created to do.

This year’s class of 32 high school students attended a graduation ceremony at CSUMB on May 21.

RISE students od hands-on science projectsRISE recruits high school students from underrepresented backgrounds and involves them in hands-on activities and fields trips. Its goals: to expose them to science, encourage them to attend college and pursue a STEM – science, technology, engineering, math – major. The mission is to enhance diversity in the sciences.

It works. All of this year’s graduates are planning to attend a two-year or four-year college or university; 11 have been accepted to CSUMB. Those heading to four-year schools receive a $1,000 scholarship; the community college students are given $500 per year. Once in college, those who pursue a STEM major are eligible to renew their scholarships.

Each year, a new crop of ninth-graders is recruited based on recommendations from teachers and counselors. They meet once a week; the continuing students meet separately. Sessions are held at Marina and North Salinas high schools.

The RISE curriculum supplements what the students are learning at school. They learn science concepts, research methods and lab techniques as well as academic skills. They also visit college campuses, where they can sometimes connect with RISE alumni.

“RISE helped me to set goals and prepare for college,” said Dalia Rojas, a psychology major at CSUMB who will be a junior in the fall. “RISE exposed me to different experiences. I am grateful for all of these experiences and trips that I took with the RISE program because it helped shape me to be the person I am today.”

The RISE program was created in 1998 by a gift from the Berkshire Foundation. For more information, contact program coordinator Louie Okamoto at 582-4556 or visit the program online.

This year’s graduates:

From Everett Alvarez High: Paola Chavez, Spencer Harvey, Arturo Quezada

From Marina High: Bhavik Chand, Jessie Dowding, Mylieneth Guiang, Ginnette Hamelin, Berenice Hernandez, Karina Hernandez, Sally Jimenez, Jennifer Maldonado, Monica Montano, Daniel Mora, Christine Nguyen, Hoa Nguyen, Jennifer Rodriguez Cortez, Lizbeth Rubio, Xochilt Saltillan Ruiz, Galen Trigg

From Monterey High: Kimberly Bonilla, Andrea Diaz, Adriana Juarez

From North Salinas High: Guadalupe Anguiano, Jasmin Carcamo, Jose Cortez, Teresa Isarraras, Bianca Jaramillo, Sarahi Manzo, Lissa Ramos, Arnulfo Soria, Miguel Torres

From Seaside High: Adriana Hernandez