NexGeneGirls Creates Role Models that are Pulling the Next Generation of Female BIPOC Leaders Forward

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The 2021 CLS NexGeneGirls Summer Science Academy – an eight week  virtual internship and leadership development program for high school females of color and their undergraduate “ambassadors” – concluded on July 30, 2021. Participants presented their scientific posters, from research internships with mentors from AbbVie, Horizon Therapeutics, Nektar Therapeutics, Theravance and UCSF, to a virtual audience of over 70 attendees at a summer celebration.

More than 55 industry professionals, from 28 participating companies and organizations, led science/healthcare career panels with women executives, speed networking with JLABS, and workshops covering topics such as reading a science journal, scientific poster development, writing resumes and college essays, improving financial literacy, and more.

NexGeneGirls is celebrated for its transformative Intergenerational Teaching model, designed to both elevate and empower females of color – from young female students to esteemed women executives – to lead and serve as role models. By leading and engaging with females who “look like me”, NexGeneGirls is catapulting the next generation of female Black and Brown science leaders.

An end-of-summer program survey underscored this transformative experience: 100% of NexGeneGirls participants indicated that they will likely pursue a science-related degree in college; 100% strongly agreed that they understood their research projects at the end of the summer program; 100% would recommend this program to a friend/colleague; and 87.5% agreed that they would do the NexGeneGirls program again.

The 2021 NexGeneGirls cohort will continue their career exploration via mentorships facilitated by California Life Sciences and Slone Partners’ ENVISION, including a spring program with San Francisco State University’s SFBUILD.

California Life Sciences is currently lining up in-person internships and funding for the 2022 NexGeneGirls program.  If you would like to learn more about supporting this important initiative, please contact Lori Lindburg lori@califesciences.org.