March 18, 2016
Danielle McNamara



MESA, a  STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education program, today announced that it is joining forces with SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, to launch a mentor program for engineering and computer science undergraduate students.


This joint effort will open with a kick-off event on March 18 when students will tour the SanDisk campus, meet SanDisk employee mentors over lunch and hear from guest speakers.  Professional development, job shadowing, and community service days will follow, adding further dimension to mentoring relationships.


The goal of the program is to provide first generation college students with mentors to help them thrive in their educational journey.


“The opportunity for MESA students to have a mentor from a company like SanDisk is invaluable.  As first generation college students, this is not a resource that would typically be available to them,” said MESA interim Executive Director Juanita Muñiz-Torres.  “Not only does it provide them with access to role models, it provides a learning opportunity that they would not get in school.”


MESA students will be chosen from San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, UC Berkeley, Cañada College and Mission College.


In addition to providing a donation through the SanDisk Foundation to support the program, SanDisk will provide a monetary match for each hour of time volunteered by its employees.


“SanDisk is pleased to partner with MESA to provide mentoring opportunities to these students. MESA’s goals and objectives align very well with the focus of the SanDisk Foundation, particularly their STEM focus. We look forward to helping these determined and hardworking students continue their professional and personal development and grow into our next generation of tech leaders,” said Tom Baker, senior vice president of human resources at SanDisk.


Studies show that effective mentoring relationships positively influence a student’s education and career choices. The students gain networking opportunities, important skills for navigating a professional workforce and assistance in setting short and long-term career goals.



MESA is one of the largest programs in the state to support educationally disadvantaged students so they can graduate from college with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees. MESA provides academic support and enrichment to more than 18,000 K-12 students and more than 7,800 community college and 4-year college students each year. Follow MESA on Twitter @MESASTEM.


SanDisk is a trademark of SanDisk Corporation, registered in the U.S. and other countries.