Imagine a nation where all of our young people succeed. Imagine these young people become the diverse and thoughtful leadership we need. And because of this, cities are resilient to climate change, ecosystems thrive, and discoveries are made that protect our loved ones and make our time on earth even richer.
Ocean Discovery Institute imagines just that. But we aren’t there yet.
Today, many young people in our country live in poverty and lack opportunities to succeed. One of the opportunities that is glaringly absent is access to rigorous science education. Because of this, kids who grow up in underserved communities don’t believe science is something they can do or that a scientist is someone they can be. This means that we are missing the chance for great discoveries by not including all young people.
Ocean Discovery Institute has a solution. By providing continuous science opportunities, paired with mentoring and the tools to overcome challenges – young people unlock their potential.
Today, Ocean Discovery reaches 6,000 students a year in San Diego, CA. Our programs are provided at no cost to our students. Our students believe that a scientist is someone they can be. They achieve because of it. They lead by entering high-paying STEM fields and making a difference. They enter the fields of biotech, engineering, environmental consulting, fisheries, marine biology, education, and public policy, and are committed to making a difference.
How We Do It
Ocean Discovery’s model targets one community or “school-shed” at a time. By beginning in City Heights, a San Diego neighborhood that is among the most diverse in the nation, we have tested this approach. The results have been unprecedented, earning the 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.
We support our students growing from curious youngsters to science and conservation leaders — from seed to tree. This is why we envision our business model as a “sustainable ecosystem” where resources are sufficient to support growth and evolution.
Our community — families, schools, scientific entities, and other partners — make up the rich soil that nourishes these young people. Tuition-free programs provide the sunlight — energy that makes growth over time possible. And a diverse network of donors, investors, and volunteers act as clouds, providing resources needed for kids to grow. For seed-to-tree growth to occur, this ecosystem must act in harmony in a single community — our school-shed.