Our Mission

The Role Model Initiative aims to address the need of industry to cultivate their future workforce, and the need of youth, particularly girls and populations traditionally underrepresented in STEM, to have role models and mentors in order to pursue STEM education and careers.

Together with the FabFems directory, we are facilitating connections between existing role model programs, women in the San Diego community, and professional development opportunities.

On this webpage you will find links to our surveys and the FabFems directory, opportunities around San Diego to strengthen your skills as a role model, and a list of our pilot programs.

Get Involved

Fill out a survey to help us gain a better understanding of what our community wants out of role models.




Learn about local STEM mentoring programs looking for volunteer role models.

See List   #BeThatGirl


Join the national directory of STEM role models by signing up with Fab Fems.

Sign Up


Add your story to 500 Queer Scientists to increase visibility of LGBTQ+ people in STEM.

Screenshot of website

Sign Up

Professional Development

Find opportunities to learn and grow into your role model role.


PD Opportunities


Training 10/15

October 15, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Zoom

Join us for our next Virtual Mentoring Workshop, this time focusing on science communication and how we relate to the audience we're mentoring. Whether you are speaking to a classroom full of high schoolers, your 7th grade mentee, an afterschool group of mixed ages, or your young niece, learn how to talk about your job in a way that is relatable and understandable without "dumbing it down."

We'll also have some time for networking and a little bit of homework so these skills don't disappear as soon as you log off.



Past Trainings


These partners have exemplary role model programs in San Diego, working to help youth in San Diego to pursue their academic and career dreams! Find out more by going on their webpage, sign up to be a mentor with them, or get your child involved.


SDSU Femineers

The program provides K-12 students with project-based learning, female engineering student mentors, and opportunities to visit a Femineer® affiliate university, while building a sustainable program and community for current and future STEM leaders. They are open to all schools and students K-12.

Currently, they serve over 90 schools and have 3 partner universities.


Learn More


Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering

BE WiSE invites girls in grades 7 and 8 to Science Overnights to explore their interest in science, hosts events for BE WiSE members in high school to encourage their selection of more courses in science and math, and exposes these girls to adult women scientists who share their knowledge and passion and experiences with science and engineering careers.

They have supported over 500 girls in the past 14 years.

Learn More

MANA - Hermanitas

MANA supports young Latina students in middle and high school through their academic journeys and into careers, by providing them with an exclusive and constant one-to-one Hermanitas Mentor – a woman who has walked down similar paths, has a similar life story or faced similar challenges and is now successful, responsible and empowered.

Since 1987, they have served over local 600 Latina women, ages 12-18.


Learn More

National Girls Collaborative Project

The vision of the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) is to bring together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). They maximize access to shared resources, strengthen the capacity of existing and evolving projects, and leverage their network to create the tipping point for gender equity in STEM.


Learn More



Check out these video series of STEM role models talking about their career journeys and skills they learned along the way.



The Energy Coalition




U.S. Department of Energy




Energize Schools (SEI)




Kearny High School of Digital Media and Design (DMD)



Our Impact

STEM Role Models are Making an Impact

We love seeing our efforts make a difference in people’s lives. Together, we build a STEM rich San Diego.


Ivel and three high schoolers

A Day in the Life of a Role Model

Ivel spoke to a class at Kearny High, School of Digital Media and Design about her circuitous path to becoming an underrepresented STEM professional for their STEM Stories: A School of Digital Media.

Read More
Child and woman wearing goggles

The Right Mentor at the Right Time

Many have attributed role models and mentors as the foundation to their success in pursuing a STEM career. Hear from Jennifer Behrens on how mentors influenced her decision to study cybersecurity.

Read More

Our Team

The Role Model Initiative was brought forth by the STEM Ecosystem Women in STEM working group. A collaborative grant was written and awarded to The Energy Coalition to sponsor a Climate Corps Fellow that would support the initiative. The 2019-2020 Climate Corps Fellow Patricia Fernandez works closely with the Women in STEM working group and the STEM Ecosystem CPO locally, as well as the National Girls Collaborative Project.

Funded by

SD Grantmakers