As a basketball fan, I was always curious about working for the National Basketball Association. The paths to NBA careers beyond the court aren’t as visible as those like Facebook or Google, but I believed it was possible if I built my experience and connections.
My job search process was untraditional for careers in the technology industry. The positions I thought I’d receive a response from, I didn’t, but I received unexpected interest from several companies including the NBA. I found my position through LinkedIn, and a recruiter contacted me for an interview. I went through a swift interview process that ended with an offer I accepted. After finishing my master’s program and taking a well-needed break, I began my role as a Project Software Engineer on the Stats Technology Product Development team.
As I approached graduation and reflected on the Earl Woods Scholar class of 2022, it became clear to me that the story of our college experience is one of resilience.
Each of us has endured countless struggles and tragedies and emerged much stronger and wiser. We have overcome every single obstacle that has come our way, from national distress to a global pandemic. Each of us is so much more than the worst thing we’ve ever experienced and nothing, not even the most formidable forces, can keep us down.
As the 2021-2022 academic year comes to a close, TGR Foundation is gearing up for another busy summer, filled with activities for students and educators.
Through its ongoing partnership with DoD STEM, TGR Foundation recently opened registration to STEM Studio, virtual educator professional learning sessions offered at no cost in the summer of 2022.
There will be two sessions available for first-time STEM Studio participants taking place 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. PDT, daily June 21 – 23 and June 28 – 30. These sessions will cover practices to build an Inquiry Mindset in their teaching and students’ approach to learning.
Over the past two years serving as the volunteer coordinator, I have interacted with the TGR Learning Lab volunteers and interns, from recruitment to supervision. I have enjoyed the working relationships that have blossomed. My philosophy when supervising anyone is to allow meaningful interactions and effective communication. By doing so, I have gained much knowledge of who our volunteers are, what their goals are and what ambitions they have. Doing this allows me to be more knowledgeable about how to support them in their roles best and share any opportunities that will enable them to grow and prosper.
Through personal outreach, an internship with the American Heart Association and personal health adversities in my family, I found an interest in cardiology. As I learned how crucial the heart, lungs and their connecting vessels are to human health, I developed a desire to help those in need of heart and lung operations.
During my junior year, I had the absolute honor of being accepted into QuestBridge’s College Prep Scholars and the Earl Woods Scholar Program. I saw an immense connection in the way the resources from both programs were distinct, yet both were critical in constructing me as a strong holistic candidate. The Earl Woods Scholar Program provided an unmatched individualistic and personalized support system wherein I had mentors and advisors that I could turn to at any time. It was set to help me achieve any vehicle for success, in my case both the QuestBridge and UC processes. Anybody who’s seen the work of the EWSP can vouch for the fact that all staff involved are the most dedicated and hardworking people.
TGR Foundation is excited to launch a new educator professional learning series on its free digital platform, TGR EDU: Explore. Comprised of six no-cost modules, the series provides educators of all levels and experiences with tools and resources to create authentic, student-centered learning opportunities that help students connect to real-world STEM careers.
Working with Discovery Education, TGR Foundation set out make professional learning opportunities more accessible so educators can learn at their own pace. With a wide variety of tools and resources already available on the award-winning TGR EDU: Explore platform, expanding the professional learning resources through the series was a natural fit.
As educators face challenges of distance learning and look for strategies to keep students engaged in virtual, in-person and hybrid class formats, TGR Foundation’s four-part series of STEM Studio trainings provided a solution with a domestic launch in Anaheim, CA. In close proximity, to the foundation’s flagship TGR Learning Lab, many Anaheim Union High School District educators had already been connected to our programs.
In the summer of 2021, the cohort model was launched with a group of teachers from Dale, Sycamore, Orangewood and Walker junior high schools participating in Virtual STEM Studio One, Inquiry Mindset. From there we have continued working with cohorts from Dale that have moved forward in our Inquiry Pathway to a second Inquiry Workshop, Making Thinking Visible.
Growing up as a low-income minority student attending an impoverished high school, it was easy to see the separations between a good education and an amazing education. I wanted an amazing education; I wanted what I couldn’t have at the time, but I knew it could be mine if I worked hard enough.
I was selected to attend the University of Rochester on a full-ride scholarship through the Posse Scholar Program and support from the Earl Woods Scholar Program. Attending UR was the best decision I made, financially and personally, because of the opportunities I have gained within my research interests and things I want to accomplish on the path to earning a Ph.D.
DoD STEM, leader of the Defense STEM Education Consortium (DSEC), has recently chosen TGR Foundation to manage their DoD STEM Ambassador Program for the 2021-2022 academic year.
In September of 2021, TGR Foundation welcomed 16 STEM Ambassadors from across the United States. These highly qualified educators were selected from a wide applicant pool and come equipped with a variety and wealth of knowledge in STEM-related fields across the k-12 spectrum.
As I look back on the 16 years since the TGR Learning Lab opened its doors to students and families in Anaheim, California, I am immensely proud of the hard work, growth and student success that has taken place. Thousands of underserved students have walked through our doors into a safe space that has given them opportunities they might not have had otherwise. The Learning Lab has helped students find their passion and pursue it, experience innovation and foster creativity all while being supported by caring adults to mentor and guide them on their journey.
At 16, Abigail Yun has already discovered a passion for technology and begun pursuing opportunities to gain experience and explore potential career paths.
In partnership with Bitwise Industries, TGR Foundation offered its students access to an eight-week pre-apprenticeship training and introduction to web development to teach the fundamentals of HTML and CSS. Upon completion of the training and high school graduation, participants would have an opportunity to join its paid apprenticeship.
After learning about the training, Abigail signed up immediately. We recently connected with her to learn more about her experience and career outlook.
Being from a first-generation, low-income, foster youth background and a proud Chicana, the significance of college itself goes beyond my personal goals. I decided to attend Dartmouth College majoring in astronomy and physics with a minor in education because of the limitless opportunities that come with education here. I knew that Dartmouth College was going […]
As an educator, I have always felt powerful opportunities present themselves all the time, you just have to have your eyes open to see when they are coming and to understand that they are in fact opportunities. This was definitely the case when members of the TGR Foundation programs team learned about an opportunity to partner with the D.K. Kim Foundation to grow an education initiative based in Colombia. At this moment, I was not very familiar with Colombia and was eager to learn more and see if it might be a fit for our professional learning work.
As we met with Olga Lucia Parga Nates and Renee Cowan, of Kim Integrated Health Management Initiative and the D.K. Kim Foundation, respectively, it became clear they had a similar mission as TGR Foundation – to support communities in closing the opportunity gap. This first meeting was full of great ideas and lofty goals, but it wasn’t until I met some of the Colombian teachers, we could work with that it is was clear we needed to work with them!
Dr. Timothy Vu immigrated from Vietnam to the Little Saigon community in Orange County 26 years ago. As he navigated life in America, he knew he could overcome his obstacles if he saw them as motivation to fuel his success.
With a network of support from family, teachers and TGR Foundation’s Earl Woods Scholar Program, Vu is the first person in his family to graduate high school, college, post-graduate school and become a working professional.
Currently residing in Garden Grove, Ca. with his parents and younger brother, Vu graduated UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in both Biology and English. He later completed medical school at the University of California, Irvine while simultaneously earning his Master’s in Business Administration.
Between shifts as an Internal Medicine Resident at UC Irvine Medical Center, Vu opened up about his path to medicine and the support he received along the way.
As we reflect on the many highlights of 2021 we can all acknowledge the change and revivals we experienced together. From advancements in medical approaches to the Coronavirus to the reopening of schools and businesses, this year gave us reasons to reflect where we’ve come from, celebrate how we moved forward and continue working toward a brighter future for everyone.
Joining a global day of generosity on Giving Tuesday, November 30, 2021, TGR Foundation seeks support for its education programs in 2022 and beyond.
Now, more than ever, quality education and career readiness are critical for student success. To meet the increasing challenges students, educators and families face, the foundation is expanding existing partnerships to continue providing free education programs, resources and support.
Growing up I was always fascinated by how things worked. I was the kid that took apart the remote control and put it back together again. My parents knew early on that if my hands were busy, so was my mind. And they knew I came alive when I was working with my hands.
Sometimes, when my mom was off from work, she’d take me to a science store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, across the river from our home in Philadelphia. I’d leave with some sort of D.I.Y. kit, like a baking soda volcano or a robot making set.
My dad was on the road a lot, working as a truck driver, but when he’d come round, we’d sit for hours and build RC model planes. And sometimes, if we finished early enough, we’d head over to the airport, park the car and sit for hours, watching the planes take off and land. It never got old.
Staring up into the sky, with my dad by my side and airplanes overhead, I knew, even as an eight-year-old kid from Philly, that I would be a pilot one day.
I’m 21-years-old now, and nearly one year into my eighteen-month program at flight mechanic school. I’m excited about what awaits me after I graduate, but the road to get where I am today was not always clear or easy.
TGR Foundation’s newest college-access course, “How to Find Scholarships,” is now live on the Learn & Earn™ app. Created by the team behind Acorns, Learn & Earn provides students with bite-sized courses covering a broad range of real-world topics including financial literacy, potential careers and life skills that prepare students for the future. For each course students complete, they earn real money toward an investment portfolio in their names, opening up a whole world of savings and investments.
Currently a senior at John F. Kennedy High School, 16-year Christian Seong has a lot on his plate – and he likes it that way. When he’s not spending his free time thrift shopping or drawing, Christian keeps himself active and involved at school, and currently serves as the Associated Student Body President. Christian is also the Program Choir President of the Kennedy Singers and the co-President/co-Founder of the Humanitarian Resource Association as well as the John F. Kennedy High School Humanitarian Resource Association Branch Club. This summer, Christian participated in TGR Foundation’s virtual College Bound Academy (CBA) program, where he received the college guidance and support he was looking for. Read more about his experience with CBA.