Intel’s STEM Pathways Program helps teens chart a course in engineering

The program at McClymonds High School in Oakland, California, hits milestone with 60 of 62 attending college. Out of the 31 students who participated in our Engineering Pathway, 30 will be attending college in the fall.

This blog was guest written by Luis Marin, program manager in the Global Diversity & Inclusion Group at Intel Corporation.

Promising Futures

High school graduations where I’m from in Chile are very different. The recent graduation at McClymonds was straight out of a Hollywood movie. The air was festive, the graduating students were joyful, and most of all, there was a feeling of optimism and excitement for the future.

These are normal teens, and they’ve done the extraordinary. With the support of Intel and the school, these kids have discovered that they are the masters of their own lives.

As I stood on stage and presented each student with their diploma, I felt honored and privileged to shake their hands and congratulate them on behalf of Intel. I know their hard work, perseverance, and passion for STEM will serve them well as they pursue their dreams – at college, during internships, and, hopefully, as future innovators at Intel.

Pathway for Success

As part of Intel’s five-year, $5 million investment in two Oakland Unified School District schools, in 2015 Intel helped launch a new engineering pathway program for students at McClymonds, encouraging them to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

In 2014, only one graduate from the school’s solitary engineering course headed to college. Just four years later, the graduating class of 2018 surpassed our wildest expectations. Out of the 32 graduating students who participated in the program, 31 of them are pursing higher education – 97% of students heading to college!

STEM Super Stars

Here’s what two students from the Class of 2018 shared about what the program meant to them and their future plans.

Day’marr Johnson:

Before the program, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. In 9th grade, I discovered the world of coding through Intel’s pathway program. Now I am pursing a degree in computer science. My internship at Intel was a great opportunity for exposure (I especially liked the good food). I wasn’t sure I’d fit in. I had imagined Intel full of serious, unwelcoming people, but I saw people of different genders, races, nationalities, and LGBTQ orientations. There was a community of people I felt I could belong with, and I felt accepted. This made me realize I could be an Intel employee one day, and it’s my dream to work there.

Angelo Edgerly, Class of 2018:

I’m going to study computer science with a minor in business at the University of Nevada. I moved to McClmonds because of its football program, but in 9th grade I discovered my love of computer science. I took computer courses and learned how to develop myself. My biggest takeaway from the pathways program was an understanding that my efforts drive my future. My dream is to be an entrepreneur and build my own tech company.

Game-changing Impact

The program impacts more than the students – it extends to the school, parents, and the community at large.

Jarod Scott, McClymonds’ principal:

The support from Intel made possible critical internal changes. The rate of students graduating and progressing to college is at an historic high. One of the most important aspects of Intel’s work with our students has been the emphasis on mentorship and internships. This gives students role models to follow and an idea of the endless possibilities available to them. Intel and this program are an example of the power corporations have to improve the quality of STEM education in public schools and impact students’ futures.

Shur’na Griffin, Day’marr Johnson’s mother:

Intel’s program was amazing. Aside from his academic progress, Day’marr has matured. He now has goals and is driving his own life. Thanks to his involvement in STEM Pathways, my son recognizes that he has possibilities in his life, and he’s going after them.

To learn more about Intel’s work with McClymonds High School, go here.

Interested in a job @ Intel?