sySTEMic Flow — Empowering Black and Women of Color in STEM

sySTEMic flow aims to advance STEM learning by offering academic preparation, internship opportunities and mentorship with professional women in the field.


Problem

Despite educational progress over the past several years, high school minority students still lack access to the educational resources that will prepare them for college success. Only about 40 percent of public high schools serving predominantly African-American students offer physics and about 33 percent offer calculus. This lack of access to foundational STEM education puts Black students at a significant disadvantage in preparing for advanced STEM courses and careers. As a result, students in STEM fields are about 6 percent more likely to change majors than non-STEM students. Moreover, 52% of students who start as a mathematics major are the most likely to switch majors.

What the Company Does

sySTEMic Flow plans to expose black women in Boston to opportunities in STEM fields while they are in high school and throughout college. Offered as an educational after-school program, sySTEMic Flow aims to provide additional educational resources and empower black women to pursue degrees in STEM. By partnering with corporate sponsors, students will be able to see their potential impact and spark some passion for this field. Throughout the program, students will work through experiences they will face in STEM by participating in enrichment classes and skill-focused seminars.

The Market

Between 2021 and 2022, it is estimated that 9 million jobs will be available in STEM fields. The Decoding Diversity study conducted by Intel showed that improving ethnic and gender diversity in the U.S technology workforce could create between $470 billion and $570 billion in new value to the industry.

Traction

sySTEMic Flow is entering the second year of its pilot program. Last year, the team assisted three students at Roxbury Community College for a total of 12 Saturday sessions. The team has also participated in several pitch competitions, taking 2nd prize in the 2017 Heller School of Business Startup Challenge, $2,000 in the 2018 SparkTANK, Audience Favorite and 2nd Runner Up at the 2019 Mass Innovation Night and 3rd prize in the 2019 Black Girl Ventures Pitch Competition.

Founding Team Background

sySTEMic Flow is led by founder Jessica Sanon. Jessica is passionate about supporting and building economic capacity for women of color through STEM education. She recently earned her MBA at Brandeis’ Heller School of Business with a concentration in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Management and was elected as the student commencement speaker of her class. Prior to graduate school, she served as a Commonwealth Corps member for the Upward Bound Program as an Assistant Advisor where she taught enrichment courses to students and was responsible for fundraising initiatives for the organization.

What They Need Help With

sySTEMic Flow is looking to connect with high schools in Boston to help continue pilot their program and identify students for their 2020 Enrichment program. Interested students must fill out this application by Tuesday, December 17. They also are looking to partner with STEM related organizations in order to help secure potential internships and networking opportunities for their students. You can connect with Jessica here.


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