Finalists Announced in STEM Coalition Challenge


Finalists Announced in STEM Coalition Challenge

Initiative Made Possible by Arconic Foundation to Spur Innovation in STEM Mentorship and

Maker-Centered Learning

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 16, 2018 – Today, US2020 announces 15 finalists for the STEM Coalition Challenge, a competition for communities across the country to develop cross-sector partnerships to bring quality hands-on STEM mentoring and maker-centered learning to underrepresented students. These finalists will now move forward to compete for $1 million in resources to implement their bold strategies, representing some of the most innovative approaches to tackling the opportunity gap through STEM.

“We received so many great ideas and are inspired by the response of the country,” said Esra Ozer, President of Arconic Foundation, a sponsor of the Challenge. “Arconic Foundation is excited to support and galvanize the efforts of these diverse communities, and we look forward to learning about the wins, challenges, and new ideas that come from this group of finalists.” The Challenge received 92 applications from 82 communities across 35 states, representing more than 1,800 nonprofit, companies, school districts, and local government partners. “It is clear by the national response that there is an interest and a need to increase STEM education opportunities for America’s youth. In order to ensure an economy and country of diverse thinkers and doers, we need to continue to shine a light on the STEM collaborations that are on the ground. We need to collectively lift up programs that are inspiring more students to become the next generation of change-makers,” said, Em McCann, Chief Executive Officer of Citizen Schools, the umbrella non-profit working to expand learning opportunities to underserved students across the country.

The finalists are:

Allendale, SC — Promise Zone Collaboration/SRS Community Reuse Organization Region

Atlanta, GA — United Way of Greater Atlanta

Idaho — Idaho STEM Action Center

Brooklyn, NY — Pratt Institute

Buffalo, NY — Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP)

Chicago, IL — Project Exploration

Cincinnati, OH — Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative

The Dalles, OR — Columbia Gorge STEM Hub

Colorado — Colorado STEM Coalition

Detroit, MI — Michigan Science Center

Downey, CA — Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center Foundation

Pittsburgh, PA — Remake Learning

South San Francisco, CA — California Academy of Sciences/Bay Area STEM Ecosystem

Socorro, NM — New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Washington, D.C — DC STEM Network

Finalists were evaluated based on their potential for impact, approach to partnership building, creative engagement strategies, and sustainability planning. Finalists will gather on January 31 for the STEM Collaboratory, a two-day workshop in Pittsburgh, PA, where they will be joined by STEM experts and creative community builders. The event will allow finalists to share, learn, and inspire one another to build local movements and bridge the opportunity gap.

Winners will be announced in Spring 2018. The $1 million in total prize value will be shared across eight winners and is comprised of financial, consulting, and staff support, including:

  •  Three $50,000 cash prizes
  •  Two full-time staff placements in five winning locations
  •  Access to US2020’s dynamic volunteer matching platform
  •  National visibility and communications opportunities with US2020 and its partners
  •  Measurement and evaluation tools and support
  •  Management consulting services from US2020 and external partners; and
  •  Membership in the US2020 Learning Network and national Community of Practice

In addition to Arconic Foundation, US2020’s work is supported by national investments from Amgen, Chevron, Discovery Communications, Genentech, Fidelity Investments, Tata Consultancy Services, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Media Contacts

Megan Salgado — US2020 | 804.504.6385

About US2020

US2020, a division of Citizen Schools is working to dramatically scale the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students through hands-on projects with a focus on serving underrepresented communities, especially girls, underrepresented minorities, and

low-income children. Through partnerships at the national level and coalitions at the local level, US2020 has built a network of more than 350 organizations in 13 cities actively working to scale the STEM mentoring field, to align the field on common metrics, and to advance a focus on quality. Learn more at

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support, in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. Learn more at


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The Duke Endowment is Looking for Leaders in Philanthropy



The Duke Endowment is looking for motivated individuals for its 2018–2020 Fellowship Program. If you are someone who has demonstrated an interest in the nonprofit sector and who has exhibited leadership potential in your civic and/or professional life, this two-year, full-time assignment provides a unique development opportunity.

The deadline for submitting applications is Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at noon EST.



  • Past or current residents of North Carolina or South Carolina, or
  • Graduates of a college or university located in North Carolina or South Carolina
  • Have at least one to two years of work experience after obtaining an undergraduate degree, and/or have a graduate degree

For more information about the program and the application process, please visit us online. If you have additional questions, contact Gillian Small.


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Future Health Professionals Conference

Future Health Professionals: Rural Health & Wellbeing Conference

On January 10, 2018 the first Future Health Professionals: Rural Health & Wellbeing conference will be held from 9 am until 2 pm in the Samuel Love Faust Multicultural Center (Building 026) on the campus of Denmark Technical College in Denmark, SC. Over 30 health and wellbeing professionals have been invited to participate on panels and in networking sessions. The conference is free and open to the public. All participants must register at Eventbrite ( This event is sponsored by Community Rural Arts Work League of Bamberg County (CRAWL) with assistance from Denmark Technical College’s student organization A.W.A.K.E.. For more information, contact or 803.290.6461.

Yvette McDaniel, Chairperson
Community Rural Arts Work League
The Art of Community: Rural SC
South Carolina Arts Commission

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Center to offer one-day Entrepreneurial Boot Camp in Promise Zone

Center to offer one-day Entrepreneurial Boot Camp in Promise Zone

Class to provide training on how to start, improve a small business


NOV. 22, 2017  |  The Center for a Better South will offer a special one-day Entrepreneurial Boot Camp in Barnwell on Dec. 13 to provide training to people interested in starting a small business.

The training, targeted to people who want to start for-profit businesses, also may be helpful to people who want to start nonprofit organizations as it will focus on business basics.

“Through the experts at the South Carolina Small Business Development Center, we’re pleased to be able to bring this kind of high-quality training to people in the six counties of the Promise Zone,” said Center President Andy Brack.  “If you have a hobby that you want to turn into a business or want to brush up on business basics to make your existing small business work better, this free class may be just the thing for you.”


WHAT:           Entrepreneurial Boot Camp.  The class is open to 25 people.

WHEN:           9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 13, 2017.

WHERE:         Edisto Room, SouthernCarolina Alliance, 1750 Jackson Street, Barnwell, S.C.

NOTE:             Parking is behind the SouthernCarolina building at 54 Irving St.

OTHER:          Lunch will be provided.  If you sign up to attend but don’t show up, you will be billed $25 for lunch.

REGISTER:      Go to:


About the course

The class will be taught by Earl Gregorich, senior business counselor with the S.C. Small Business Development Centers.  An entrepreneur for more than 20 years, he recently received the Small Business Administration’s SBDC Excellence and innovation Award.  An Air Force veteran, he and his wife live in Chapin.

In the morning session, Gregorich will outline simple steps to start a business and discuss financial analysis of business ideas, options for business financing and give an overview of crafting a business plan.  In the afternoon session, he will review sales and marketing tools, cash flow management, the global marketplace and business-related technologies.

Interested in attending?

There is no cost to attend. but to attend, you must register.  The class is limited to 20 participants.

  • NOTE:  The class is intended for people who live or work in the S.C. Promise Zone.  If you live or work outside the region, please contact us by email below.


Important information

  • Attendance is limited.  Reservations are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.  If a class fills up, you will be put on a waiting list in case a spot opens.  If a spot does not open, we will contact you when a new class is offered.
  • Lunch will be provided.  Participants will receive a lunch at midday.
  • No show policy.  If you register and can’t come, please let us know as soon as possible so we can make a space available to someone else.  If you reserve a place and don’t attend, you will be billed $25 to reimburse the Center for lunch.  Signing up for the class is a commitment by you to attend for free or pay the lunch fee if you don’t.
  • Transportation.  You will have to provide your own transportation to a class.
  • Questions.  Please send questions by email to:

Trainings offered by the Center are provided through a Rural Business Development Grant  awarded in 2017 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Center for a Better South was a leading driver of the area’s combined effort to apply for and be successful in winning the federal designation for the region to be a Promise Zone.  You can get updates on the Promise Zone at its website:


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