The State of California is recognizing a special program put together by the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) and the 49ers Foundation. The STEM Leadership Institute (SLI) has received the distinguished Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association.
“It is an honor to have the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute in Santa Clara recognized by the California School Board Association,” said 49ers co-chair Dr. John York. “My family has always had a passion for education and believes that if you provide young students with the right resources, they can succeed in the classroom and beyond. These future leaders are the next generation of innovators and thinkers and I could not be more proud of each and every one of them.”
“We are grateful for partners like the 49ers, and the 49ers Foundation, who allow us to bring innovative educational opportunities to Santa Clara Unified School District’s students,” said SCUSD Superintendent Dr. Stella M. Kemp. “Our school district’s mission is to prepare all students for success in this ever-changing world and the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute at Cabrillo Middle School and Santa Clara High School allows us to provide students interested in STEM careers with a rigorous program to better connect and prepare them for that future.”
Dr. York and Dr. Kemp were among the representatives in San Diego to accept the award during a ceremony on Dec. 5.
The program is just one of 57 statewide programs recognized for “…addressing student needs through areas such as equity and access, school climate and safety, technology and wellness.”
It is the result of six years of hard work by the 49ers Foundation, SCUSD and its students. The students started in the program as seventh graders at Cabrillo Middle School and carried it through until twelfth grade at Santa Clara High School.
The students committed 300 extra hours of learning time each school year in addition to their regular school hours to take part in the program. It culminated in a chance to work with the Learning by Giving Foundation and hand out $20,000 in grant money to two local non-profits.
As part of Learning by Giving, the students selected two causes they felt most strongly about and then awarded $10,000 each to two organizations they felt best combated those issues. On Oct. 25 at Levi’s Stadium, they presented the Bill Wilson Center and the Ecumenical Hunger Program with the grants.
Santa Clara High School Principal Greg Shelby says the SLI program has had a ripple effect on campus.
“Not only is the SLI program an amazing, innovative initiative, but having the SLI students as part of our student body has elevated the education of all our students,” said Shelby.
The Golden Bell winners are selected every year by a panel of experts from school districts and county offices of education from across the state. There is also an on-site evaluation before winners are announced.