The Help Group is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a most generous $300,000, two-year grant by The W.M. Keck Foundation for “Building the STEM³ Academy Model” initiative.  This gift will enable STEM to significantly expand its nationally acclaimed model that enables students with social and learning differences to acquire the skill sets that will prepare them for jobs in STEM related fields, and to lead more independent, productive and rewarding lives. STEM  Academy was launched in August 2015 under the innovative leadership of Help Group COO, Dr. Susan Berman.

“We are most grateful to the Foundation for its commitment to supporting our STEM education initiative dedicated to bridging the opportunity divide so often experienced by these young people,” said Dr. Barbara Firestone, Help Group President & CEO.

The Help Group looks forward to “amplifying and strengthening STEM³ Academy’s capacity in a number of domains and to developing a more enhanced program infrastructure,” according to Dr. Diane Flannery, Help Group, Director of Design and Strategy. The Foundation’s support will help to build capacity to reach more students and to provide practical experience through a vibrant mentorship and internship program, and to forge partnerships with area industry. Additionally, it will help to create the advanced, experiential-based curricula with essential social skills tools that are most needed by STEM students.

The W.M. Keck Foundation was founded in 1954, with the goal of generating far-reaching benefits for humanity. In Southern California, the foundation supports the education and healthy development of children and youth through its support of organizations that provide early childhood and pre-collegiate education.  The W.M. Keck Foundation is making a real difference in helping young people prepare for their next steps. We thank them for believing in our young people and for encouraging their growth and potential!