UC Irvine Math CEO program (www.math.uci.edu/mathceo) is committed to offering free enrichment activities in mathematics for middle school students in underserved communities, and creating free educational material to be used in classrooms around the world. An essential goal of our program is to encourage students in low income, minority communities in Southern California to pursue a college degree in Mathematics, Science, Engineering, Technology or related fields through a solid foundation and adequate planning.
The program started successfully as a pilot program in the 2014-15 school year. In less than 4 years, it has quickly grown to become one of the strongest math university-community partnerships in the nation serving Latinx middle school students.
Math CEO brings together underserved youth from four schools in Santa Ana and San Juan Capistrano with UCI undergraduates to work on exciting and challenging mathematics. They meet weekly on the UCI campus (24 times a year) to engage in higher-level mathematics curriculum that promotes math skills and critical thinking. The cooperative environment fosters positive beliefs about mathematics. Ongoing training is provided to undergraduate mentors to make sure their interaction with youth is positive, culturally sensitive, and of high academic quality. By working with college students on a college campus, children learn not only math, but also college readiness and college literacy, something vital to their pursuit of STEM. Like the middle-schoolers, many of the college mentors are Latinx first-generation college-goers; they model successful college pathways and help children bridge their home and college experiences.
To make sure that the children’s growing interest in college is supported by their parents, Math CEO also offers bilingual evening college-orientation workshops at local schools to inform parents about different types of college education, admission requirements, and financial aid opportunities. While this information is important and well-received, the most impactful and empowering part of these workshops are the stories shared by the UCI Latinx first-generation college students.
Moreover, the kids in Math CEO take part in a STEM-focused campus visit to UCI every spring. The purpose of this day-long fieldtrip is to allow youth to experience the life of a college student for a day, learning about exciting STEM research at UCI, strolling around our beautiful campus and eating lunch at a cafeteria along with their college mentors.
For more information, contact Marijana Lekousis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-824-8111