This NationBuilder site is a prototype for our Latino EduMentor project. The team is led by Ashley Lopez with collaborator Alberto Roca, Executive Director of DiverseScholar. We have been selected as semi-finalists for the Echoing Green Global Fellowship. Unfortunately, Ashley did not advance past the semi-finals for the Voto Latino Innovators Challenge. Our project summary (written in Ashley's voice) is below. We created this prototype during the Hackathon at the 2014 Latinos in Tech Innovation & Social Media (LATISM) annual conference.
Latino EduMentor: Supporting Students Who Crowdsource Science
by Ashley Lopez
I am our nation's future: a Millennial, Latina, science nerd who gives back to my community (LGBT activist and Latino neighborhood volunteer). My generation must learn the STEM fields to be engaged citizens who contribute to the economy; and, education is key to this goal. I know from experience that striving alone to complete college is difficult so I need mentors who will guide and advocate for me. My Latino EduMentor project will implement Connected Learning activities between Latino higher education mentors and students. I will code a platform with 2 parts: 1) an app for students to crowdsource surveying their communities about education/career goals; 2) a data aggregating website that also provides a social network for student peer-to-peer support and engagement by higher education mentors. By designing the surveys about their hometown, the mentors are invested in the student's local insight about similar life stories. The virtual platform will especially allow rural students to connect with urban mentors at distant research universities. I will recruit our first cohort of student scientists from my community college in rural Lancaster, CA. My GenX collaborator, Dr. Alberto Roca, will provide mentors through his nonprofit that houses the nation's largest network of Latino junior professional STEM doctorates (built through 10+ years of connections with diversity organizations like Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), and American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE). Our Millennial-GenX partnership will benefit from his 2-time Echoing Green fellowship semifinalist experience (2013 and 2014) and active participation with the Latino tech groups LATISM and the Latino Startup Alliance (LSA).