STEM Pipeline Programs

Let There Be Endless OpportunitiesMarisol - A Pre-College Science Education Program Student

Marisol Nuñez was one of the first students to participate in the Pre-college Science Education Program offered at UCLA School of Dentistry. The program, originally funded through a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, exposes gifted and educationally disadvantaged high school students to scientific research and potential careers in the burgeoning field of health sciences. 

Before coming to the School of Dentistry, Marisol had never stepped foot in a lab, let alone conducted bench research at one of the top research universities in the world. Through this program, she conducted oral cancer research and had the opportunity to live on campus for six weeks to experience college life firsthand. Even though she never imagined she would be receiving her bachelor’s degree from UCLA, she knew that she had been given an amazing opportunity. 

“This program gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams,” said Marisol. “I will be forever grateful.” 

Marisol is one of approximately 60 students who have benefited from the exposure to research and science through this program. Every student involved has gone on to attend college with a partial or full scholarship.

We are committed to expanding the pipeline of students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines, both in the classroom and through opportunities such as collaborations and group projects in our research labs. Supporting such programming enables us to more effectively engage students from underrepresented communities, enhance our service to the community, and expand pathways to higher education.

In addition to our pipeline programs, we also work with disadvantaged college students to improve their chances of getting into dental school. Despite the many challenges these students face, they perform well enough in college that an additional year of improving their academic record will make them competitive dental school applicants. We are providing young adults an avenue to better educational opportunities and careers in dentistry and the health sciences. 

CONTINUED SUPPORT IS CRITICAL IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN AND GROW THESE EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS, WHICH PROMISE TO PRODUCE LEADERS IN THE FIELD OF DENTISTRY AND BEYOND.