STAR Scholarship Program

Our scholarship program is dedicated to supporting and championing the academic aspirations of low-income women of color pursuing science degrees. We partner with NextGene Girls to empower talented young women who face systemic barriers, offering them the means to pursue their dreams and contribute to the scientific community. Our goal is to provide a supportive network of mentors to our scholarship recipients, in addition to supporting them financially. Each recipient receives a $2000 scholarship, along with the continued support from our outreach program, where we run workshops on college fundamentals (such as LinkedIn, resume-crafting, etc).

By investing in their education and unlocking their potential, we not only shape the future of science but also foster a more inclusive and equitable society. We are also aiming to expand our program and increase the number of scholarships we can provide. Join us in making a lasting impact on the lives of these exceptional young women! If you would like to support our scholarship program please reach out to us!

The Problem

Women of Color are dramatically underrepresented in STEM fields - this is reflected in undergraduate populations. Many of the young women NexGeneGirls supports get offers from dream schools that they are then unable to attend.

Top schools offer low-income students free tuition, but the cost of living itself is unaffordable for these young women. This scholarship fund enables our students to attend their dream school.

The table below shows the minimum expected expenses per semester per student, assuming there are 16 weeks per semester and 2 semesters per year. Key sources are hyperlinked in the table. Please note that this is a bare minimum amount of money needed to live - the realities of living costs will likely mean this number is higher than predicted.
Food $892.40
Rent $3680.00
Textbooks $420.00
Total Expenses $5082.40
Even the most prestigious needs-based grant programs, such as the Pell Grant, only give students a maximum of $3,000 per semester. This leaves a $2,100 deficit that students need to make up through part time work. Working part-time massively detracts from the value students can get out of university - 47% of students working more than 15 hours a week have a GPA lower than the required passing grade in college.

The Solution

The money provided by our programs aims to meet the gap left by other grants and scholarship programs. We aim to meet the difference so that our students can maximize their learning in college without having to take on multiple part time jobs to pay rent and put food on the table. Our program will cover these costs for the first two years (four semesters) of the students’ education.

In addition to financial assistance, workshops centered around college applications and developing professional skills will also work to make the road to education more accessible for participants. With collaboration from Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and College Admission Mentorship Program (CAMP), we host a total of four workshops in the Fall semester, followed by two more in the Spring. Topics include selecting schools to apply to, crafting a personal profile, and essay-writing as well as college interviews, building resumes, and networking.

With the help of our donors at Mechanics Bank and Berkeley Venture Capital, we are able to reach new heights by making a brighter future for our future scholars. Contact ucberkeleystar@gmail.com, elainabosshardt@berkeley.edu, or shadihassani@berkeley.edu for more information.