FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 12, 2021
Contact Name: MacKenzie Sandy
Ocean Discovery Institute
OCEAN DISCOVERY INSTITUTE RECEIVES CRITICAL CONTRIBUTION FROM NEUROCRINE BIOSCIENCES
San Diego, California: Ocean Discovery Institute recently received a $150,000 donation from Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., a leading neuroscience-focused biopharmaceutical company headquartered in San Diego. This contribution, the largest single donation received from an Ocean Discovery STEM industry partner, comes at a critical time. Ocean Discovery students live in City Heights, a high-poverty community in central San Diego and one that has been disproportionally impacted by the COVID epidemic.
In partnership with the San Diego Unified School District, Ocean Discovery Institute has provided 100% tuition-free, STEM programs to students from K-career for more than 20 years. For now, that mission has expanded because the pandemic has created unparalleled need in the community. “We know that underserved communities of color continue to be disproportionately impacted by this pandemic”, says Ocean Discovery Founder and Executive Director Shara Fisler. “This contribution from Neurocrine Biosciences will ensure we can provide opportunities at no cost to our kids, but it also means so much more than that. In a time when it’s hard for our students to believe things can get better, this commitment shows our students that the STEM industry believes that they can grow up to be scientists.”
“We are proud to support the mission of Ocean Discovery Institute to empower young people from underserved urban communities of color to transform their lives through science,” said Kevin Gorman, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Neurocrine Biosciences. “The lack of opportunity and the strain of poverty has been heightened amidst the pandemic, and we are grateful that the Ocean Discovery Institute is helping to ensure that our next generation of leaders and scientists has access to educational programming that is safe and informative as well as to internet training and supplies that students need to be able to participate in school.”
After classrooms morphed into Zoom screens last spring, many educators feared students would fall behind, especially students of color and those living in high-poverty communities. Preliminary research validates these initial concerns. On average the shift to distance learning set white students back 1-3 months of curriculum understanding compared to 3-5 months in students of color last school year. As distance learning continues, disparities are predicted to escalate with an estimated 12-16 months of learning loss in students of color compared to an estimated 5-9 months among their white peers by June 2021. The important contribution from Neurocrine Biosciences ensures that Ocean Discovery Institute can continue excel in addressing the national crises in science education and poverty.
Ocean Discovery Institute is a San Diego-based nonprofit that uses the ocean as a platform to empower young people from urban, underserved communities of color to become tomorrow’s scientific and conservation leaders. Ocean Discovery Institute transforms young lives through science.