Four Scholarships That May Be Perfect for You

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There are literally hundreds of thousands of scholarship opportunities in the United States. That’s a lot.

Extra cash to pay for college is great. But searching for the right scholarships seems like it could be a full-time job! Where do you even begin?   

No worries. We’ve got your back.

Our partnership with Red Kite, a scholarship matching engine, allows Tallo student users to match with over $20 billion in scholarships. And it’s really easy. We give you a Tallo profile to show yourself off. Red Kite reviews your profile in order to plug you into the right scholarship opportunities. Great teamwork, right? Like I said, we’ve got your back.  

And speaking of your profile, here’s a tip: the more complete it is, the better scholarship matches you’ll get with Red Kite. There may be a scholarship somewhere out there that was created for someone just like you. So be sure that your profile is telling your whole story!

What kinds of scholarships? There are all kinds! Just check out the financial aid info on our Tallo dashboard to find a whole list of them. To give you an idea, here are a few examples:

Automotive Women's Alliance Foundation Scholarships

This one’s for all my girls who love cars. This scholarship is awarded by the Automotive Women's Alliance Foundation (AWAF) to females who are passionate about the automotive industry.

Horatio Alger National Career & Technical Scholarship Program

Horatio Alger was a 19th-century author whose characters worked hard to overcome challenges and achieve their dreams. Applicants for this scholarship must be committed to career or technical program and demonstrate financial need.

E.C. Hallbeck Scholarship Fund

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, right? This scholarship is awarded by the American Postal Workers Union to high school seniors whose parent, step-parent, or grandparent served as U.S. postal worker.

National Collegiate Cancer Foundation Scholarships

A scholarship for courageous young adults whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Applications for 2019 will open this month.

Do any of these opportunities sound like a perfect fit for you? Go ahead and apply — someone’s going to win them, why can’t it be you?

Something Extra for Your Extracurriculars

 
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We know that putting yourself out there in front of colleges and employers can be awkward, confusing, or scary. Maybe you don’t know what to say or how to say it. Well, we hope Tallo’s making the whole process a little better.

We know there’s more to your story (and your Tallo profile) than just your GPA and standardized test scores. Just about anything that you do outside of the classroom can have a place in your profile. If you’re having a hard time figuring out what to write, we went ahead and made a little list for you.  

Any of them sound like you? Go ahead and paste them right into your profile. It’s cool with us. All you have to do is fill in the blanks and switch up the descriptions to match your unique experiences. Easy-peasy!

1. Trusted babysitter with (insert number) years of childcare experience

As a dependable and dedicated babysitter, I ensure that the young children in my care are kept safe and engaged. I am consistently recommended by my clients to other parents due to my trustworthiness and experience.

2. Volunteer with (insert local community or faith organization)

As a member of my organization’s marketing committee, I helped generate interest for our largest fundraising event of the year. By promoting the event with flyers, emails, and telephone calls, we set a new attendance record.

3. Member of (insert sports team)

As a three-year member of my school’s varsity basketball team, I have learned important skills such as teamwork, cooperation, and commitment. Over three years, I was never late to a single practice or game, and I was voted co-captain during my senior season.

4. Freelance lawn maintenance professional

I have spent the past two summers managing my own lawn care business by proactively advertising my services to members of the community. I worked hard to ensure that each customer was satisfied with the level of care I provided for their lawn, and have grown my client list extensively.  

5. Experienced (insert subject) tutor

As a tutor, I know that it takes compassion and patience to help others learn. I help students complete their homework and special assignment, and prepare for tests. My favorite part is when a student shows me that their grade has improved!

Welcome to Tallo!

 
 

You’ve probably noticed by now. Things look a little...different.  

Okay, so maybe things look a lot different. Where did STEM Premier go?   

No worries, we haven’t gone anywhere. We’ve just changed our name to Tallo! As we’ve grown to help hundreds of thousands of young people showcase their talents, we’ve realized that those talents extend far beyond the STEM fields. So we thought a change was in order. We’re here for everybody, no matter what their passions are.   

Tallo represents who we are and where we’re going. The world needs all sorts of people, whether they excel in the lab, on the stage, or under the engine compartment. Everyone is welcome on Tallo!

Why the name “Tallo”? Think “talent” + “locator.” We like to keep things simple and on point. And as a little nod to our history, “tallo” just happens to be the Spanish word for “stem.”

Our name might be different, but our mission is the same: to give young people a way to showcase themselves to the educational and professional organizations who are looking for them. Finding the right path can be overwhelming. We’re here to make it easier.

Already have an account with us? Fantastic. Your login information is the same, and your profile is just how you left it. So you can pick up right where you left off.

New around here? Pleased to make your acquaintance. Jump right in and start showing yourself off to the world! Whether you’re a student, a school, or an organization, start creating your Tallo profile by clicking HERE.  

Then go ahead and strap in, suit up, hunker down, or whatever it is that gets you in the zone. Maybe it’s listening to some dubstep or country or rap. Maybe it’s interpretive dance. We don’t judge.             

In other words, you just do you. Tallo will help you figure out the rest.   

STEM Premier Spotlight: Texas

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The Rundown:

  • STEM Premier Student Accounts: 20,000

  • Male/Female User Split: Male - 41%, Female - 59%

  • Next Step:

    • College - 92%

    • Technical or Community College - 5%

    • Workforce/Military - 3%

  • Top High School Representation:

    • Manvel High School (Manvel)

    • Ball High School (Galveston)

    • Brazoswood High School (Clute)

    • Bel Air High School (El Paso)

    • DeBakey High School for Health Professions (Houston)

  • Top Career Interests:

    • Surgeons

    • Pediatricians

    • Mechanical Engineers

    • Registered Nurses

    • Aerospace Engineers

  • Top In-State College Interests:

    • University of Texas

    • Texas A&M University

    • Baylor University

    • Rice University

    • University of Houston

  • Top Out-of-State College Interests:

    • Stanford University

    • Harvard University

    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    • University of California - Berkeley

    • Johns Hopkins University

  • Number of Post-Secondary Student Users: 700

The last time we checked in with the Lone Star State, it had just over 3,000 student users. That number has since grown seven-fold to over 20,000! Texas also boasts nine of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

Female student profiles in Texas outnumber males 59% to 41%, which continues to be encouraging news for a range of professions and industries historically considered to be dominated by men; healthcare and engineering are two of the state’s most popular career interests. In fact, nearly 1,700 female students in Texas are members of HOSA - Future Health Professionals.

But some of the most exciting news about Texas is the diversity of our student population. Nearly 10% of student users identify as first-generation students, and it is one of the only states where minority users (Hispanic/Latino) comprise the largest proportion of our users!

The Greatest First-Generation: A Closer Look at STEM Premier's First-Gen Students

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Two months ago, we introduced you to STEM Premier’s First-Generation student population; students whose parents do not possess a college degree. When we first began delving into the data on our first-gen students, we were floored by what we found. It turns out that they are some of the most highly-engaged users on our platform; they display higher levels of profile completion and digital badge ownership. That fact has inspired us to strengthen our commitment to these oft-forgotten students. We hope that excites and inspires you as well.

But who exactly are these students? Well, there’s nearly 30,000 of them on STEM Premier, which means they comprise about 10% of our total student user population. They hail from across the U.S., from coast to coast. They span a diverse range of ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. They are a big part of America’s future workforce, and they’re ready to make their impact in a multitude of career fields.

Do they have what it takes? Absolutely. 2,000 of them are National Honor Society members. Thousands more are engaged with HOSA - Future Health Professionals, Project Lead The Way, and other organizations.

Here’s a few more stats on our first-gen population:

Top States

  • South Carolina

  • California

  • Texas

  • Florida

  • Georgia

Top Career Interests

  • Registered Nurses

  • Surgeons

  • Mechanical Engineers

  • Pediatricians

  • Biological Scientists

  • Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides

  • Computer Programmers

  • Aerospace Engineers

  • Biomedical Engineers

  • Electrical Engineers

Top College Interests

  • Clemson University

  • University of South Carolina

  • Stanford University

  • Coastal Carolina University

  • UCLA

Highest Organizational Engagement

  • National Honor Society

  • HOSA - Future Health Professionals

  • Project Lead The Way

  • Future Business Leaders of America

  • National Technical Honor Society

Does your college, company, or organization want to learn more about and connect with this special group of upcoming talent? Join us today.

STEM Premier Spotlight: South Carolina

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The Rundown:

  • STEM Premier Student Accounts: 70,000

  • Male/Female User Split: Male - 48%, Female - 52%

  • Next Step:

    • College - 70%

    • Technical or Community College - 13%

    • Workforce/Military - 17%

  • Top High School Representation:

    • Cane Bay High School

    • Summerville High School

    • Goose Creek High School

    • Aiken High School

    • Fort Dorchester High School

  • Top Career Interests:

    • Registered Nurses

    • Mechanical Engineers

    • Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides

    • Surgeons

    • Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers

  • Top In-State College Interests:

    • Clemson University

    • University of South Carolina (Columbia)

    • College of Charleston

    • Coastal Carolina University

    • Winthrop University

  • Top Out-of-State College Interests:

    • Duke University

    • University of North Carolina

    • University of Georgia

    • North Carolina State University

    • Florida State University

  • Number of Post-Secondary Student Users: 1,500

It’s been nearly two years since our last spotlight on the state of South Carolina. And my how things have changed! The number of STEM Premier student users has grown exponentially since then, which means so too has our data and insight into this population of young talent.

Powered in large part by our relationship with SC Future Makers, over 50,000 students have joined our platform in the past two years to connect with schools, businesses, and organizations.

It’s true that much of our talent resides in the state’s larger metropolitan areas, but that’s to be expected. What has us totally pumped is how deeply the STEM Premier platform has reached every corner of the state. This enables every student to have a fair shake, whether they’re in Charleston or Chesterfield. And speaking of Chesterfield, we know 40 students there who are interested in becoming a classroom teacher. That’s breaking news for a state which is facing a critical teacher shortage!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Emily Nguyen

We are always proud to spotlight our 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Taylor Belyeu from Longwood, Florida. This week, the limelight is on Emily Nguyen from Harvest, Alabama!

Emily is a first-year student at Auburn University pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with specializations in pre-medicine. In high school, she was a multiple-event state finalist in the Science Olympiad and also a HOSA - Future Health Professionals state finalist.

Read more about Emily below in her own words.

Emily Nguyen

Harvest, Alabama

Auburn University

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...as a toddler, I actually started writing with my right hand but swapped to my left when I was given the notion that being left-handed was "cooler." That's why, today, I do everything with my right hand except for writing.

For fun, I like to...volunteer and browse Pinterest (there's nothing like smiling faces and pretty things that lift my mood).

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Leonardo da Vinci. I would love to see how he thinks and sees the world, giving me a glimpse into the mind of a genius.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was...not actually my "official" teacher. Mrs. Hodge is the sponsor for my Science Olympiad and InSPIRESS team, but she has gone above and beyond to help me in any aspect; she is the sole reason I was able to qualify on my AP Chemistry exam last year.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...the ABC Channel app so I could watch some of my favorite tv shows (I highly recommend The Good Doctor and How to Get Away with Murder).

In ten years, I see myself...happily occupied with a job that will give me opportunities to travel and immerse myself in cultures all over the globe.

My greatest dream is...(very cliche) a world dominated by love and happiness that no amount of evil can overcome: an end to mass violence, a cure for cancer, and for me, a life of stability.

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...it being such an accessible portal to multiple opportunities in education, internships, and various organizations.

We hope for the best for you Emily! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

It's Thanksgiving Week at STEM Premier!

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It’s the season to give thanks. And here at STEM Premier, there’s a lot we have to be thankful for! It’s been an awesome year full of new opportunities and new friendships. We believe it’s important to spread the attitude of gratitude, so here’s just a few of the accomplishments, organizations, and people we’re grateful for!

  • We’re thankful for our growing population of hundreds of thousands of middle school, high school, and collegiate-level users across the country who use our platform to discover and connect with opportunities every day.

  • We’re thankful for the 200+ colleges, companies, and organizations such as Penn State, College of Charleston, Boeing Aerospace, Cummins Turbo Deisel, HOSA - Future Health Professionals, and FIRST Robotics who're providing scholarship, educational, internships, apprenticeships, and career opportunities to our amazing users.

  • We’re thankful for all the teachers, counselors, and career development specialists who've graciously partnered with us and allow our team into their classrooms to educate students on the power of building their professional online presence in this digital age.

We also asked some of our team members here at STEM Premier HQ what they are thankful for this season. Here’s what they had to say!

Sarah Musser, Partnership Strategist

  • For the dedication of Charleston Southern University’s Admissions team who are always looking for new ways to connect and relate with students. I am thankful to have clients who care so much about their current students and the future of their incoming class.

  • For the Girl Scouts of the USA. Through our partnership, I have spoken with women from South Carolina, Texas, New York, Indiana, and many other states, all with a universal goal of helping connect talented young women with college and STEM-focused job opportunities. As a former girl scout myself, it has been so special to help these eager young women build their impressive online portfolios. The future of women in STEM is bright!

Rebecca Craig, Engagement Team

  • For my wonderful colleagues at SC Ports for helping us educate students on regional workforce opportunities and for giving our wonderful Charleston students a great place to work and a solid career path.

  • For The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce who have worked so hard in providing work-force skills and experiences to students in the Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester school districts through coordination of teachers and businesses. They are true warriors for the greater good of Charleston and for helping our students secure the brightest futures possible.

Valerie Keller, Engagement Team

  • For the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice who allowed us to present STEM Premier to a community of educators and influencers. To be in the presence of so many folks across the country who are involved in promoting STEM ecosystems and ensuring student success was an honor.

  • For the University of Pittsburgh for their collaboration in reaching out to top talent throughout the U.S. and for joining the community of four-year colleges helping to build STEM Premier.

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Taylor Belyeu

We are always proud to spotlight our 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Richard Coca from California. Next up is Taylor Belyeu from Longwood, Florida!

Currently a senior at Smith Prep Academy, Taylor is a soccer stand-out with aspirations of serving the United States as a member of our armed forces. She is currently active in the Civil Air Patrol, and has received recognition for her leadership ability and dedication. She hopes to contribute her talents in the field of cyber security, which she has already demonstrated by being recognized for her achievements at the Patrick Henry College Intelligence and Foreign Policy Camp.

Read more about Taylor below in her own words.

Taylor Belyeu

Longwood, Florida

Smith Prep Academy

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...that I manage the family cattle ranch. This includes taking care of a herd of cattle and a few goats.

For fun, I like to...read good books, both fiction and nonfiction, and go skydiving.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...George Washington. He was an amazing military and political leader. Plus, he's one of the Founding Fathers.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was...my math teacher, Mrs. Tiller. When I started with her, I hated and feared math, but through her tutelage, I've come to enjoy it as one of my favorite subjects!

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...Slack. I use it for my robotics club and my internship with DFW Speech and Debate.

After high school, my next step is to…attend a four-year college, preferably a military academy, and major in computer science.

In ten years, I see myself...as a Cyber Operations Officer in the military.

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...the connections it makes between colleges, businesses, scholarships, and students. It makes life so much easier, and it's really nice to have profile set up for easy access.

We hope for the best for you Taylor! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

Recruiting Members of Generation Z

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When it comes to different generations, a lot of stereotypes get floated around. The members of Generation X are the rebels. Millenials have become widely referred to as “Generation Me.” Regardless of how valid these labels may be, it’s a fact that attitudes and culture change from one generation to the next. Just like sports teams have to adapt to new-fangled offensive schemes, businesses and organizations have to adjust their own gameplans to compete at the highest level.

So what about Generation Z; the latest generation of high school and college-aged young adults? They’re suiting up the locker room and hungry for playing time. By 2020, they’ll comprise 20% of the workforce. Can you convince them to play for your team when they hit the field?

Here’s a few tips to help you “get” them.

Get after it early

Members of Generation Z have seen the massive student loan debts accumulated by Millenials. And that’s something they want no part of. Many of them are strongly considering bypassing college entirely and going straight into the workforce. They want a livelihood, not necessarily a degree.

Since attending college is no longer a foregone conclusion, high school students are weighing their post-graduation plans much earlier than previous generations. Connecting with them during this decision-making process is vital, and that’s what makes our platform a game-changer. We’ve made it easier than ever to find young talent and build your brand. But more importantly, you can do it before anyone else can. We are your direct access point to Generation Z. So what are you waiting for? Don’t just make a first impression. Be the first impression.

Get digital

Generation Z is the first generation of true digital natives. They could practically recognize an iPad before they could recognize a bottle of baby formula. If you aren’t connecting with them online, you aren’t connecting with them, period. To them, the internet is an extension of the world, so you need to be in it! If you are waiting for them to come to the college job fair to start recruiting them, someone else already has.   

Gen Z is online; and so are we. We are world’s first opportunity connection app for emerging talent, and we know that in order to connect and engage with them, we need to be playing in their sandbox.

Get real

Remember that big economic slump we call “The Great Recession?” Well, that’s the environment Generation Z grew up in. Because of that, members of Generation Z expect to work harder than previous generations. Simply put, they’re realists. Be honest and tell them what the deal is. What do they need to do to be qualified to work for your organization? What specific opportunities are you offering? Avoid vague, fluffy, and condescending language. They are skeptics at heart, so don’t bother trying to sell them on something that sounds good to be true.

When working with our college and company clients, we educate them on how to communicate with our users. Call them by their name, compliment something in their profile, tell them exactly why they are a good fit and should consider you for their next step

Get to the point

The Snapchat generation is used to digesting their information in, well…snaps. That means you’ve got their attention for 5 to 8 seconds before they scroll on to something else. It’s a challenge, sure. But the more accommodating you are to their short timeframe, the more responsive they will be. We teach our clients to leveage our personal messaging system to craft short, impactful, and individualized communications.

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Richard Coca

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was Neha Chava from Northville, Michigan. Next up in the limelight is Richard Coca from California!

Richard currently attends Reseda Senior High in San Fernando Valley while also dual-enrolled at Los Angeles Mission College. The AP Scholar is highly involved with HOSA where his team was named as one of the state’s Top 10 for biomedical debate. But certainly his most “thrilling” accomplishment was winning first place in the Magic Mountain Roller Coaster Proposal Competition in which competitors design a roller coaster from scratch!

Read more about Richard below in his own words.

Richard Coca

San Fernando Valley, CA

Reseda Senior High School

Something you wouldn't know about me is...Something you wouldn't know about me is that I'm very Twitter savy. Follow me on Twitter @richcocacola

For fun, I like to...get out of the house, especially to travel and visit new places.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne. He seems like a down-to-earth guy and his previous research interests me.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was...Dr. Wendy Wooten. She was the one who gave me so opportunities in science and allowed me to get my foot in the door to research.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...Attendify. I had to download it for CAL HOSA's State Leadership Conference. HOSA is a great club for future health professionals because of the networking opportunities, workshops, and events.

After high school, my next step is…to go to Stanford University. I'm nervous but even more excited. #FearTheTree #GoCardinals

In ten years, I see myself...doing some type of scientific research. As to what kind, I'm not sure but I do know that I want it to have real world applications.

My greatest dream is…being part of the generation that solves cancer, or even Alzheimer's, or any other disease. The future is limitless and I am really excited that I'll get to be a part of a change that hopefully benefits the world.

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...its easy to use platform and how simple it is to highlight all of your accomplishments.

We hope for the best for you Richard! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Spotlight: Randelle Thompson

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Less than a year ago, we featured STEM Premier organizational user Tidelands Health. Based out of Georgetown, South Carolina, Tidelands decided to partner with us in order to place themselves on students’ radars. “[STEM Premier] will help us deepen our relationship within the region by introducing Tidelands Health to members of the community at a young age,” said Busy Kimball, Manager of Talent Acquisition, at the time.

That’s just what they’re doing. By utilizing our digital ecosystem to provide scholarship opportunities for students interested in healthcare, they’ve found exactly the kind of students they’ve been looking for; students like Randelle Thompson!

Randelle is one of Tideland’s recent scholarship recipients. A native of Myrtle Beach, Randelle wasn’t all that familiar with the Tidelands healthcare system, which is headquartered 35 miles away in Georgetown. It was during her senior year of high school that she really began to take notice and consider a future career with the organization. The scholarship opportunities Tidelands made available on STEM Premier solidified her interest. “I would check the website periodically to see if any scholarship opportunities were available,’ she explains. “That’s when I applied for the scholarship with Tidelands Health.”

The aspiring nurse graduated last May from Myrtle Beach High School and is currently attending Horry Georgetown Technical College. She will soon be working for Tidelands Health. But first, she wants to take advantage of the opportunities college has to offer her.

“My plan for next year is to perfect my techniques in the nursing program I’m enrolled in,” she says, “I also plan to join the honors society and other clubs as well.”

Read more about Randelle below in her own words!

Something you wouldn't know about me is...I have an accent!

For fun, I like to….read or listen to music.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet…the head nurse of a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida because that’s where I’d love to live and work someday.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was/is….my probability and statistics teacher during my senior year of high school. She was was always supportive of me and my aspirations.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was…the McGraw-Hill Connect app.

In ten years, I see myself….managing a department of whichever hospital I happen to find myself for.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...their ability to see potential in students.

Congratulations Randelle on your scholarship! We know you’ll be an awesome nurse (and hospital manager) one day!

Breaking Down Barriers: First-Generation Students Make STEM Premier Work for Them

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Historically speaking, the deck has been stacked against young students whose parents do not possess a college degree; students otherwise known as first-generation (or “first-gen”) college students. For example, a 2013 study found that only 17 percent of first-gen students earned a college degree within ten years of their high school sophomore year; a much lower rate than their peers who have parents with a college education.

But at the end of the day, first-generation students who are deemed “college-ready” persist just as successfully at the post-secondary level as continuing generation students. Thousands of STEM Premier students identify as first-generation. These students in particular are out to prove themselves, and they’re using our digital ecosystem to do it. In fact, we’ve identified them as one our “highly motivated” student populations. Simply put, they’re awesome.

Here’s how we know:

  • More than three out of four first-generation students on STEM Premier have a fully completed profile; a rate that out-strips continuing generation students by about nine percent.

  • They are reporting higher rates of AP test engagement and digital badge ownership.

  • The rate at which they apply for scholarships and other opportunities via STEM Premier closely matches their continuing-generation peers.

What are they passionate about?

  • 84% of them have their sights set on attending a four-year college. Talk about closing the gap!

  • 10% plan to pursue CTE (Career Technical Education). That’s essential education for some of America’s hardest-to-fill jobs.

  • 6% plan to serve our country in the military, where they will learn critical technical and leadership skills.

  • The most popular career interests for first-generation students include counselors, paralegals, librarians, and equipment technicians.

As we’ve discovered, the passion among these students has been blazing for years. They’ve simply needed an outlet to pursue that passion. We truly cannot express how honored we are to be that gateway to opportunity. But we’re not surprised. After all, STEM Premier is where all students get their opportunity to shine.

Three Reasons We're Excited About Our New Partnership With K12, Inc.

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In August, we officially announced a $9 million strategic investment from K12 Inc., a nation-wide leader in online curriculum and school programs for students in pre-K through high school. This investment signals an incredible expansion of our mission to connect talented students everywhere with the colleges, businesses, and organizations which are seeking them.

Needless to say, we’re excited about this opportunity. But we shouldn’t be the only ones. Any organization - academic or professional - which relies on recruiting to keep their talent pipeline flowing should share our enthusiasm. Here’s why.

We share a mission

Like us, K12 believes that every person - and student - is unique, and seeks to provide online educational solutions tailor-made for each student’s needs and goals. K12 offers comprehensive public and private school experiences as well as individualized and supplemental course options. Its award-winning curriculum is comprised of core subjects, including foreign languages, as well as AP, honors, STEM, and dual-credit offerings.

“Attracting the investment of a national leader in educational technology,” says our CEO Casey Welch, “will provide us the opportunity to accelerate both of our companies’ missions.”

We share a vision of the future of workforce development

As a result of this partnership, the STEM Premier platform will be incorporated into K12’s nationwide Career Technical Education (CTE) programs in order to more successfully match its participants with in-demand jobs across the country.

Known as Destinations Career Academies, these K12-managed programs allow their students to pursue practical career-readiness coursework alongside their core classes which will prepare them for professional success across a variety of industries such as health sciences, information technology, agriculture, architecture, and construction. Extracurricular activities like work-based experiences and competitions allow students to further enhance their professional and academic development. As a result, thousands of students are earning their diplomas already well-prepared for their next step, whether it be a job, the military, or further education.

“Our strategic investment in STEM Premier will develop a robust talent pipeline of skilled workers empowered to thrive in the 21st century business environment,” says K12 Chairman & CEO Nate Davis.

We share an ever-growing online environment of talent

What this means for organizational users of STEM Premier  is that they will immediately gain access to even greater numbers of diverse students across the nation. This will be especially beneficial for industries which face severe skills gaps.

“Incorporating STEM Premier into our Destinations portfolio,” says Davis, “will prove to be a powerful force in matching students with hard-to-fill job opportunities in fields like healthcare, IT, construction and manufacturing.”

Those familiar with the “network effect” which makes social media platforms like Facebook so dynamic will understand the impact this will have on STEM Premier’s online environment. As more users join, the more powerful of a tool it becomes for everyone involved.

This investment will allow our user base to grow exponentially, providing organizations with the ability to connect, engage, and recruit individuals who would otherwise have gone unnoticed. For our student users, their opportunities will be vastly expanded as we continue to lower the barriers which once forced them into traditional - and outdated - avenues of educational and professional growth. It doesn’t matter if they’re from South Carolina, South Dakota or South Chicago. Everyone will have their chance to shine on STEM Premier.

We’re pumped about this. We hope you are too.  

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Neha Chava

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Meigan Wu from Bakersfield, California. Next up is Neha Chava from Northville, Michigan!

An extremely involved member of HOSA, Neha has participated in several of the organization’s leadership conferences. She is an extremely talented tennis player who has laid claim to multiple regional and state championships. Her passion for tennis led her to establish and coordinate a summer youth tennis camp; proceeds from the camp went to charity. She has also volunteered for the American Red Cross and her local food bank. She recently enrolled at the University of Michigan where she will being pursuing her goal of becoming a cardiologist.

Read more about Neha below in her own words.

Neha Chava

Northville, MI

University of Michigan

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...I have a twin brother!

For fun, I like to...bake! I love to bake anything and everything and even started a baking club at school.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor. I would love to meet her because of the perseverance she exhibited when faced with the adversity in her life.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was...my high school English teacher because he fostered great class discussions and taught many valuable analytical skills!

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...”I Love Hue” - a color game! It’s challenging but fun!

In ten years, I see myself...being a cardiologist and treating patients!

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...how a student’s profile can be entirely customizable to reflect their own interests, activities, passions, and - best of all - their personality!

We hope for the best for you Neha! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

Big Names in Industry Recognize Many Paths to Success

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For the past two decades, enrollment numbers at America’s universities have been steadily rising as high school graduates rush to obtain what they - and their parents - perceive as the ticket to a well-paying job: a four-year degree.

However, a four-year degree is not the only route to professional success, and some of the nation’s most prestigious employers are beginning to acknowledge this fact. It’s old news that Google has long shrugged its shoulders over college degrees when assessing applicants. Now many more are following their lead, including Apple, IBM, Bank of America, and Ernst & Young.

So why is this? Because it’s not necessarily the diploma they’re after; It’s the skill set they want.    

“Academic qualifications will still be taken into account and indeed remain an important consideration when assessing candidates as a whole, but will no longer act as a barrier to getting a foot in the door,” says Maggie Stilwell, Ernst and Young’s managing partner for talent.

In other words, as long as an applicant possesses the knowledge and skills necessary for success, they will be an attractive hire. It doesn’t matter whether those skills were learned in a university seminar, a technical college workshop, or in the applicant’s own home.  

Everyone’s path to success is unique. That’s the belief our virtual ecosystem is built on, and why opportunity-seekers utilize STEM Premier regardless of their professional journey. While a four-year degree is the goal of many of our users, many others are breaking away from this traditional path, and are represented by robotics prodigies, engineering aficionados, and promising young professionals.    

Our users are exposed to a multitude of opportunities, many of which they may have never even considered before. For example, many organizations are so desperate for certain technical skills and certifications that they have created programs for young employees to work for them while footing the bill for their education. As a result, the employee is earning not only a paycheck, but a degree as well!

The world’s educational landscape continues to shift. There’s no telling what “traditional” academic pathways will fall by the wayside and what will take their place.

That’s why we do what we do. Because on STEM Premier, all paths can lead to success.

STEM Premier user Connor Woods found an internship on STEM Premier - with us!

Connor Woods was in high school when he first combined his two greatest interests: baseball and statistical analysis. At the time, college baseball had recently enacted a rules change stipulating the use of flat-seam baseballs instead of the raised-seam balls teams had previously played with.

“It was supposed to infuse more offense into the game,” explained Connor, “and I wanted to see if that’s really what happened.” The question became the topic of his senior thesis at Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston.

Although his results were inconclusive, Connor - a right-handed pitcher himself - was pleased with how his thesis turned out. The research project taught him how to gather and organize data, perform analysis, and draw conclusions from it.

But more than that, he learned that he wants his skills to impact more than just the baseball diamond. “I really want to impact people’s lives. To impact communities,” he explains.

That’s why we were stoked when he connected with us on - where else? - STEM Premier about a summer internship opportunity. 

“I enjoy opportunities where I can see the results of my work. Working for a technology start-up was perfect. I really got to dive into the company, and they welcomed me like family.”

As an intern, Connor worked directly alongside our team assisting with various facets of our operations, from sitting in on engagement meetings to communicating directly with students in order to improve the user experience. He even did his own “senior thesis” project for us: performing a comprehensive analysis of our user base. He presented his findings to the entire company prior to returning to Claremont, California to begin his junior year at Pomona College.   

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“It was big confidence boost for me to take vast amounts of data and break it down into actionable conclusions,” he says.  

It was a big confidence boost for us to. We were excited to hear what he had to say. 

“I was amazed by the amount of female student users who are interested in STEM," he explains, "We hear so much about STEM areas being primarily dominated by males. The data from STEM Premier’s user base indicates that the tides might be shifting.”

He even delved into the nitty-gritty of our user base, drilling down into stats like profile completion rate and the number of scholarships a student applied for. From there, he identified a large population of students who are taking full advantage of the opportunities we have to offer.

“The amount of motivated first-generation students on STEM Premier is significant. It’s a population that colleges and companies would surely want to take note of.”

Although we were bummed that he had to return to school in August, we hope his time spent with us has a lasting influence on his professional aspirations. Working toward his degree in economics with minors in Spanish and mathematics, Connor - who is also a relief pitcher for Pomona College - plans to apply his skills in the non-profit or educational fields upon graduating.

While the professional aspect of his internship was rewarding, Connor says that he’ll always remember the life lessons he learned from our leaders.

“One thing [CEO] Casey Welch taught me was that - like members of a baseball team - everyone is going to have strengths and weaknesses. It’s how you combine the different strengths of different people that makes a great team.”

From all of us here at STEM Premier, thanks Connor! 

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STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Meigan Wu

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Anna Weinstein from Denver, Colorado. Now - hailing from Bakersfield, California - it's Meigan Wu's time to shine!

Honored as valedictorian of her high school class, Meigan is undeniably a "renaissance woman." She was named as both the top instrumental music student and top science student of her high school, and her contributions to her tennis squad earned her the distinction of "most inspirational player." She was also presented the Good Citizens Award by the Daughters of the American Revolution  for patriotism and service to her community. 

It is no surprise then that she received the 23rd Congressional District of California Merit Award personally presented by Congressman Kevin McCarthy for demonstrated excellence in academics, citizenship, and leadership skills. 

Meigan recently enrolled at UCLA after spending her summer interning with an environmental consulting firm. She intends to major in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics.

Read more about Meigan below in her own words.

Meigan Wu

Bakersfield, California

UCLA

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...I am obsessed with Walt Disney films and characters. My favorite Disney movies are Peter Pan and Mulan.

For fun, I like to...play music on my flute! I especially love playing with others in duets, small ensembles, orchestras, and bands.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Empress Wu Zetian, the only female ruler in Chinese history. 

The best teacher I’ve ever had was...my AP Calculus BC teacher and high school band director. Both are very passionate about the subjects they teach and are always there to help and support me!

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...Pinterest.

In ten years, I see myself...living a comfortable lifestyle in a suburban area. I imagine myself as a classy researcher making discoveries in a well-known institute. 

My greatest dream is...to travel the world with my friends and family.

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...being able to organize my information in an easily accessible way, and I really appreciate the resume STEM Premier generates.

We hope for the best for you Meigan! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Anna Weinstein

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Jonathan Banks from Oak Park, Illinois. Now, it's time to shine it on Anna Weinstein from Denver, Colorado! 

Anna recently graduated from Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado - a suburb of Denver - where she was a National Merit Scholarship finalist and an AP National Scholar. Her nimble footwork on the pitch also earned her All-Conference Honorable Mention recognition for women's soccer.

She was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she will begin classes this fall and continue her soccer career. 

Read more about Anna below in her own words.

Anna Weinstein

Greenwood Village, Colorado

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...I kick box in my free time 

For fun, I like to...spend time in the mountains camping, kayaking, skiing, climbing fourteeners, and just enjoying the fresh air

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...L.L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto. He holds a unique position as the creator of the most widely spoken constructed auxiliary language in the world, and as such presents an interesting character.

The best teacher I’ve ever had is...either my 6th grade Math teacher or 11th and 12th grade English teacher because they both created an environment that encouraged students to independently confront issues in creative ways. In English, about a third of the class would stay after class to continue discussing different topics with the teacher

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...Duolingo and Morse Coach to continue learning Esperanto and to start learning German and morse code

After high school, my next step is...to attend MIT and major in Computer Science and possibly Brain and Cognitive Science as well. I also hope to travel and study abroad in Spain, Ireland, or really anywhere

In ten years, I see myself...working with a company that allows me to work on creative solutions to intriguing questions connected to psychological and physical health. I may also have completed graduate school.

My greatest dream is...to build a machine that can shrink and enlarge matter to resolve any problem ranging from pollution to resource competition. But more realistically, I aspire to contribute to society on a large scale by working on programs that help research, diagnose, or treat different aspects of mental and physical health. Current apps like Sea Hero Quest which generates data for Alzheimers research and fantastical creations like the psychoanalytic game in “Ender’s Game” fuel these goals.

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...the opportunities it provides to connect with different organizations that align with my goals and interests.

We hope for the best for you Anna! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

"War for Talent" Spurs Businesses to Extend Talent Pipelines into High Schools

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Seven years ago, IBM realized that their talent pipeline strategy needed an overhaul. Like a poorly managed pension fund, the output it was generating would eventually be outstripped by an ever-increasing need for specific skills and knowledge; their system was no longer a long-term solution. It needed a fix before it all came crashing down.

"There's a war for talent across all our competitors,” said IBM Foundation President Jennifer Ryan Crozier, “We know we're going to need a lot of different pathways to bring talent in.”

So in 2011, IBM became the first “P-Tech” business, partnering with a Brooklyn high school and the City University of New York. The intended outcome? To produce qualified candidates for the types of jobs which IBM knows will face critical talent shortages in the future.

P-Tech is a six-year academic and vocational tech program which allows students in grades 9 through 14 to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an industry-recognized associate degree while also gaining relevant work experience in emerging fields.

Since 2011, more than 400 additional organizations such as Motorola, Verizon, and Dow Chemical have joined IBM in this exponentially-expanding experiment with over 80 high schools across the country. The companies offer input on the curriculum, bring students on site, pair them with employee mentors, and offer paid internships.

These organizations know they are on the cutting edge of talent pipeline management. The investments they are making today have placed them on the inside track, and are putting them in prime position to attract the skilled workers which these programs aim to produce in the years to come. In most cases, it’s the first professional contact these students ever experience.

"This is about preparing the next generation of the workforce," Crozier says. "It's not a short-term fix for roles we have open today," she said.

Of course, not every organization has the vast resources of Verizon, Dow, or Big Blue to develop such robust recruiting programs.

That is where STEM Premier levels the playing ground.

By utilizing the STEM Premier platform, companies and organizations can tap into a digital environment of hundreds of thousands of high school students across the country. You can connect and build relationships with these students - the same way that IBM does - without investing millions of dollars to do it.