|Officers of the UC San Diego student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)|
The mission of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community. The UC San Diego NSBE Chapter has continuously fulfilled the NSBE mission by the establishment of NSBE Jr. Chapters at local San Diego High Schools. NSBE Junior strives to stimulate student interest in technical fields such as science, mathematics, and engineering. In response to the lack of African Americans pursuing degrees in engineering and science, NSBE serves as a source to encourage students to attend college and pursue technical degrees. At the same time, UC San Diego NSBE recognized that although schools and teachers bear principal responsibility for children’s education, having a supportive and stable home environment can complement the efforts of educators, leading to better student achievement in high school. In 2010, the UC San Diego NSBE student chapter began to work with Town and Country Learning Center located in Southeast San Diego, to increase the scholastic achievement of students who live in an affordable housing community. The goal was to create a pipeline of students who value academic success by providing peer mentorship (“buddies”), tutoring, and academic skill workshops. While many factors affect school outcomes among low-income children, including parental involvement and school quality, meeting children’s basic housing needs is a critical part of school readiness and academic success. In 2013, UC San Diego NSBE was able to formalize their work at Town and Country Learning Center by establishing the first NSBE Jr. Chapter at a community-learning center and creating an Academic Success Program for any middle/high school student living in the community. Through the “buddy system”, NSBE JRs have attended local/national NSBE professional conferences, have participated in the San Diego NSBE Summer SEEK program (Summer Engineering Experience for Kids), and attend the Annual UC San Diego NSBE Leadership Banquet.
Summary written by Michelle Ferrez, Director of the IDEA Student Center at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.