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Tackling Workforce Diversity

January 30, 2015 | Danielle McNamara

Recently some Silicon Valley corporations released their diversity numbers and there is no time like the present to address this topic. Diversity is critical for superior long-term performance and success. 


So MESA along with the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce and Connect.Work.Thrive. have teamed up with top Silicon Valley executives to find construction and actionable solutions to increasing diversity in the workforce.


The Workforce Diversity Summit, Tuesday, February 10 at the Microsoft SVC Building 1 in Mountain View will bring together hundreds of senior level executives to identify, acquire, manage and retain a diverse workforce.


Speakers include MESA’s executive director Dr. Oscar F. Porter, Intel Capital Vice President Lisa Lambert, Cisco Senior Vice President K.C. Wu, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.


The summit sponsors include Microsoft, Google, Cisco and Abilities United.


For more information or to register, visit the event page.

Mentor with MESA

January 15, 2015 | Danielle McNamara

We’re starting off 2015 with an eye to mentoring.


January is National Mentoring Month. And for good reason – mentoring works. Studies show mentoring is linked to higher academic achievement and career success.


That’s why Cisco leadership teamed up with MESA to start a mentorship program.


Since 2013, the partnership between MESA undergraduate students and employees from the connectivity giant builds a strong professional base for up-and-coming STEM workers. Students receive coaching, career information, feedback and best practices including mock interviews with company representatives.


The program concludes with a recruitment day that has led to internships and in some cases full time employment.


How has a mentor helped you in your education or career? Share with us.


If you’re interested in being a MESA mentor or getting involved in other ways learn more.




The importance of afterschool programs

October 29, 2014 | Danielle McNamara

California was recently named the top state in the country at providing top-quality afterschool programs. According to the Afterschool Alliance report, after-school participation in California had increased to 25 percent in 2013, up from 19 percent in 2009.


MESA understands the importance of after school programs, especially for educationally and economically disadvantaged students. According to Ed Source:


  • About 20 percent of the country’s children – 11.3 million – are unsupervised between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • The need is greatest for low-income, African-American and Latino students
  • About 47 percent of low-income children in California are participating
  • The average cost of after-school programs was $114 per week in 2013-14, more than twice as much as 10 years ago


MESA offers high-quality, enrichment programs, free of charge to 228 schools throughout California. These students receive hands-on project-based learning that reinforce the core concepts they learn in math and science classes. They curriculum is New Generation Science Standard and Common Core aligned and introduces students to the possibility of STEM majors and careers.


Find out if a MESA center near you offers after school programming, with our map tool





Leadership at its best

October 28, 2014 | Danielle McNamara

Sure there’s reading, writing and arithmetic. But what about communications, leadership and networking? Not as catchy, but just as important.


Soft skills are large part of one’s career success, but often STEM students don’t see the importance or have the opportunity to build those skills.


But through MESA, each year, more than 200 computer science and engineering students are brought together for the Student Leadership Conference (SLC).


This industry-sponsored, invitation-only event gives students a chance to hone interviewing skills, network with industry leaders and enhance their oral, written and online presence through intensive workshops.


Industry supports SLC because they recognize the need to identify and develop future leaders in their organizations.