"[My parents] taught me that what scientists think today might be disproven tomorrow, and that's wonderful, because that's the pathway to a better, deeper understanding."- Sasha Sagan
Dear AISS Supporter,

Giving Tuesday is coming December 3rd.

Falling on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday was started 7 years ago to inspire philanthropic giving during the commerce-centered holidays. AISS invites you to consider you supporting our scholars this #GivingTuesday, as we are still raising money for laptops for our Class of 2021.To find out more, visit our website to see where your donations go and read Scholar's testimonials.

As the days progressed, the time came for our AISS scholars to take the SAT test November 2nd; they were all ready for an experience to remember. Since they had been prepping for the SAT with Dr. Rojas and Dr. Ortiz, the scholars marched into their classrooms ready for what was about to commence. With three hours and fifty minutes on the clock...they began. In the end, our scholars gained a new feel for the SAT and will have the opportunity to demolish the test in the future.
This month, AISS scholars also attended Chapman University’s Open Campus Day. During Session I, Chapman’s alumni discussed their experiences in their career, which gave the scholars a deeper understanding about those specific careers. Afterwards, the scholars met with AISS staff along with their parents and families, where the scholars presented their project topics for the fall. They also met with Dr. Andrew Lyon, the founding dean of Chapman University's Fowler School of Engineering. This experience was a time for them to practice networking and understand more about the university system. Debbie also informed the parents what the scholars have been doing in the class meetings such as writing prompts and preparing for the SAT.

AISS Scholars with parents at Chapman University's Interfaith Center

Dr. Andrew Lyon with Dr. Ortiz
Last but certainly not least, the scholars were able to participate in the AISS 3rd Annual Bowl-A-Thon. As the scholars and sponsors bowled, they were able to introduce themselves to new faces and make some new acquaintances.

Photos from our 3rd Annual Bowl-A-Thon

AISS’ guests from the Veterans Legal Institute ended up being the top-winning team, winning prizes like a baseball signed by Angels player Zack Cozart!

Executive Director Debbie Wells with Veterans Legal Institute Team
AISS would like to thank NPI Services, Modern Woodmen, Edwards Lifesciences, Brysani Consulting, Nidia Garcia and our own Dr. Rojas for sponsoring the event. Because of you, we raised over $4,000 to go toward laptops for our dedicated scholars, and also raised money for The Veteran’s Legal Institute. We’d also like to thank the amazing staff at Bowlmor in Tustin for being gracious, attentive hosts.


The scholars had a blast and are looking forward to the upcoming events planned for them.

Cielo Echegoyen
Santa Ana High School

Witnessing my oldest sister’s acceptance and eventual departure to the University of her dreams resulted in phenomenal wonder on my part. For as long as I can remember, university has occupied a tremendous part of my mind, but the success my sister achieved whetted my appetite so that school took on an entirely new meaning. Sources of motivation for attending college include representation and exposure to exciting job prospects.

I participated in a lab on theoretical and computational chemistry at the University of California Irvine (UCI) this past summer. I plan on double majoring in political science and molecular and cell biology. My mission is to provide molecular level treatment options for young cancer patients while minimizing negative side effects and providing comfort to combat the stress of treatment. 

Both of my parents have fueled and encouraged my dreams despite my work occasionally bringing them complications. My life goal is to ensure that both my parents and my future family can experience the fruit of my hard work and live a better life as a thank you.

Being an AISS scholar has taught me the importance of being open minded towards all fields of science. It has become increasingly evident that science and creativity are dependent on each other for breakthroughs, and learning about a variety of STEM fields has encouraged that creativity.
Frank Cabada
AISS Class of 2013
As a first generation college student with older siblings who only attended local colleges, I was not immediately familiar with half of the universities that I applied to. AISS provided the initial push and guidance I needed to discover the opportunities available to me at prestigious universities like Columbia.

Prior to joining AISS, I had become comfortable with the idea of only applying to colleges close to home so that I could be near my family. This is not to say that there aren't any good colleges around. However, there is no reason to limit our options so quickly when there are so many great colleges all across the country, each with their own unique programs and campus culture. I am grateful that AISS encouraged me to keep an open mind because I was truly happy with my time in New York City as a Columbia student, where I learned so much in and out of class. I had valuable experiences and connections there that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

I graduated from Columbia University in May 2017 and I am now working as a software engineer on the Nest Hub Team at Google.

Efi K. Roe
Edwards Lifesciences VP of Clinical Affairs, AISS Board Member

I am the VP Clinical Affairs for the Transcatheter Mitral and Tricuspid Therapies at Edwards Lifesciences. In my 20 years working in Clinical Research, I held several Clinical Operations Leadership positions in J&J, most recently as the global head of Clinical Operations for the entire Medical sector, was a a partner and held senior positions at several Medical Device CROs and have experience running over 400 medical device studies globally. This has given me over 15 years of clinical experience. 

I also long history of volunteering in the community. In addition to joining AISS' board this year, I have been a volunteer ice hockey coach and team manager for over 10 years, Volunteer Paramedic and EMT for 15 years in Israel.

Efi Roe with AISS Scholars this September
  • Giving Tuesday - December 3rd, 2019
  • Alumni Luncheon - December 27, 2019

The mission of the Achievement Institute of Scientific Studies (AISS) is to guide high achieving, economically disadvantaged high school students interested in pursuing a career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. We not only help students get accepted into college, but also with the years beyond - through graduation and establishing their careers.
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