Essential factors to consider when partnering with and creating youth diversity outreach programs

Thursday 1:30pm E Building 202
Oral Session Part of Thursday Oral Session A


Leah Turner, The University of Texas at Austin
GeoFORCE Texas at the University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences is a very large, well-funded youth diversity outreach program created to introduce high school students to STEM, especially the geosciences. Each year the program supports over 400 students from rising 9th to rising 12th grade, engaging them in out-of-state field experiences and hands-on research projects. Each year full-time staff solicit, hire, and train summer temporary staff; execute institutional contracts; recruit underrepresented student participants; communicate with counselors, community leaders, parents and guardians; engage with corporate sponsors and major donor; plan academy field stops, inclusive instruction and activities; acquire essential youth mental health first aid and other safety training; etc. This work tends to go unnoticed by researchers, grant writers, and others who either partner with existing youth outreach programs or build them to account for broader impact initiatives. By the end of this session, participants will be able to identify factors for consideration when partnering with or developing youth outreach, more effectively partner with youth outreach programs using best practices and general rules of engagement, and execute the most essential priorities for longevity in youth outreach programs.