1751 Pinnacle Dr #600, McLean, VA 22102 | velbranchout@gmail.com 

Endorsement and Support

  • Virginia Governor Ralph Northam 

  • Congresswoman Barbara Comstock 

  • Calvin J. Li Foundation 

  • Kenneth R. Plum, Virginia State Delegate

  • Ryan McElveen, FCPS School Board member at Large

  • Jeanette Hough, Former FCPS School Board member at Large

  • Fabio Zuluaga, Assistant Superintendent, Region 2, FCPS

  • Terry Dade, Assistant Superintendent, Region 3, FCPS

  • Susan Lee, Maryland State Senator

  • Craig L. Rice, Chair of Education Committee, Montgomery County Council


Our Sponsor

Calvin J. Li Memorial Foundation provides financial rewards to outstanding leaders from the program.  Click here for this year's recipient list.

* This program is created and supported by Veritas Education Leaders, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization


Mentors who have demonstrated outstanding mentorship are recognized during our fall celebration/recruiting event. For 2017's award recipient list, click here

About Veritas Education Leaders

Veritas Education Leaders as an 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 students 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.  More about our parent organization, click here.


About BranchOut!  

Branch Out! The 21st Century Multicultural STEM Education Project is a non-profit program co-created by Dr. Yuhsien Sharon Wu to promote STEM education and cross-cultural understanding.  Our 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 65 mentors from 25 different schools.  Our program is continuing to grow with support from members of Congress and prominent school board officials.  Through our student leadership program, we hope to help to close the achievement gap and create a diverse future in STEM.

(Watch the 60-second short clip on the right to learn more about what we do!)


Program Impetus

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!


Mission Statement

The goal of this program is 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 through working with students from different backgrounds. 

Student mentees have their interest stimulated in STEM through peer mentoring.  


Partner Organizations

  • Center City Public Charter Schools

  • DC International Charter School

  • Fairfax County Public Schools

  • James Lee Community Center

  • Patrick Henry Family Shelter

  • Montgomery County Public Schools



Uniqueness of the Program

  • Guided by education theory

  • Supervised by trained and experienced educators

  • Cross-cultural in nature to enhance students’ cultural awareness and communication skills

  • Student mentors receive training from experts in the field on mentoring, motivation, learning, and cultural sensitivity

  • Managed and led by a Harvard alum with the aim to address learning and cultural gaps

  • The program is effective! The team helped a group of middle schoolers in a summer remedial program at the DC International School, a charter school in DC.  The school conducted a pre and post analysis using NWEA MAP, a measure of academic progress, and found the following results:

    • Students who attended the summer program (low math performing students) outperformed DCI students by 3.49 percentile points in math.

    • The growth of the summer school (treatment) students’ is compared with a matched set of low-performing (control) students who did not receive the intervention. The result shows that the treatment group outperformed the control group by 13 percentile points in math.


Student Mentor Feedback/Program Info

For photos/news from the 2017 program, click here


Application Process

Join us this summer!  Apply now