Branch Out! The 21st Century Multicultural STEM Education Project is a non-profit program co-created by Dr. Yuhsien Sharon Wu and Mr. Richard Wang to promote STEM education and close achievement gaps. BranchOut! aims to create a win-win situation for both the mentors and mentees participating in the program. Student mentors get the opportunity to develop their leadership and communication skills by working with students from different backgrounds. Student mentees have their interest stimulated in STEM through peer mentoring.
Branch Out! was inspired by a talk by Dean Jim Ryan of Harvard Graduate School of Education and Dr. Chad Womack of the United Negro College Fund in late 2015. The talk was about how to prepare students for 21st century careers and develop students’ interest in STEM. Dr. Wu, the co-founder of Veritas and a Harvard Graduate School of Education alumna, responded to the call. In a few short months, she created a mentoring program to bridge achievement and cultural gaps in the current system. That program has become BranchOut!
The program began in 2016 with 20 high school students from the DC area who served as mentors at the DC International Charter School. Since then, we have expanded to include nearly 100 mentors from 30 different schools.
The program is continuing to grow with support from members of Congress and prominent school board officials. Through our student leadership program, we hope to create a diverse future in STEM education!
Veritas Education Leaders
Veritas Education Leaders, BranchOut's parent organization, believes in the importance of lifelong learning. The team is in the continual pursuit of fresh ideas and excellence and growing together with students by energizing them to strive for an education that rewards their creativity, strengthens their thinking, and pushes them to live their best lives. We challenge our students to live ethically, think critically, plan logically, communicate clearly, produce creatively, and as a result grow organically. To learn more about our parent organization, click here.
What Makes BranchOut! unique?
Guided by education theory:
BranchOut! mentors learn how to teach students of various age groups effectively and are supervised by trained and experienced educators as well as other experts in the fields of mentoring, motivation, learning, and cultural sensitivity.
BranchOut! is cross-cultural in nature, allowing student mentors to enhance their cultural awareness and communication skills. It is managed and led by a Harvard alum with the aim to address learning and cultural gaps.
After the BranchOut! team mentored a group of middle schoolers in a summer remedial program at the DC International School, an analysis conducted by the school found that students who received mentoring from BranchOut! outperformed students who did not by 13 percentile points in math.