"Science is a beautiful gift; we should not distort it." - A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Dear AISS Supporter,

This month brought the end of AISS' summer session.

Our first round of classes with the Class of 2021 was incredibly rewarding. Scholars finished multiple projects they put hard work into for the entire summer. One such project involved constructing their very own model bridges with instructor Nino Polizzi. The scholars spent weeks designing and building their bridges based on engineering principles they learned in class. Joseph Rosales' bridge was able to hold the most weight while staying in tact.

Scholars Daniela & Sofia proudly displaying their bridges

One of the scholars' most challenging projects was their STEM research paper. Over the course of the summer, they learned how to write a proper scientific research paper on a topic of their choosing, even conducting interviews with experts on that topic and presenting their research to staff, family, and AISS board members.The scholars chose wide-ranging topics, such as automation in the workforce, nuclear fission and fusion as alternative energy sources, and architectural solutions for homelessness.
Joseph Rosales presents research on Nuclear Fusion & FIssion

The summer session concluded with AISS' annual Parent Conference. Scholars and their families were invited to Chapman University to celebrate their accomplishments at AISS thus far. The conference opened with a continental breakfast and words from Chapman's Vice Chancellor LeNoir. AISS instructors then shared their experiences teaching and working with the scholars over the summer.
Photos from AISS' Annual Parent Conference

Guests also toured Chapman's campus, which served as host to the majority of the summer classes. The conference then held a special Alumni Panel, where past AISS scholars and their parents gave advice to the current cohort.

AISS Alumni Panel

Scholars also presented some of their projects to their proud parents. The scholars also expressed their appreciation for their mentors Jonathan Arellanes and Joshua Lopez with a card and customized 'trophy'.

We'd like to thank all of our partners and supporters that made our classes, field trips, and speaking engagements possible.Thank you to Chapman University for being wonderful hosts to our summer classes and Parent Conference. Thank you to Dr. Rojas, Mike Stanislawczyk, Rudy HInojosa, Nino Pollizzi, and Dr. Ortiz-Franco for the time and dedication you showed as instructors and mentors.  Most of all, we'd like to thank our Class of 2021 for the incredibly hard work they put in, and the passion for learning they've shared with those around them.

Bryan Avelino

Godinez Fundamental High School
 I will be the first generation in my family to attend college. This has influenced me to take school more seriously. I identify myself with Mexican culture, although my family and I also identify me with Asian culture because of my interest in anime. I can speak more than one language, but I am still learning to read and write in Spanish. I am taking a computer science college class over the summer to prepare myself for college. Although attending college is common at my school, it is still surprising to know some people have already chosen a college they want to get into.

Nonetheless, I want to major in computer science and get a career as a programmer and develop games. To make this clearer, I learned to program in python when I was 12. At the time I was really into console and computer games, but I have always wondered how games worked, so I started looking into that and began learning Java to learn to do more complicated things with other game engines. In other words, I became interested in programming and had fun because I found something, I already had an interest in: video games.
Nada Soeun
AISS Class of 2007
My name is Nada Soeun and I am a proud alumnus of AISS from the Class of 2007. I received my B.A. in Sociology and a minor in education from UCLA, and continued on to earn my M.A.Ed. in School Counseling and Higher Education from the University of Redlands. I have had the pleasure to work with AISS, its many supporters, and scholars for the past 12 years. I have taken on many roles, from being an administrative assistant, instructor, academic advisor, and  program associate. AISS undeniably played a pivotal role in my pursuit of becoming a counselor. I am a firm believer that every student, despite their disadvantaged background, has the potential to obtain a higher education given the support system and tools to do so. 

This fall, I will start at Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High School as their new College Counselor.


Dr. Jackie Rojas
AISS Summer Instructor

Jackie earned her BA in Biology and Spanish, plus Elementary and Secondary Teaching Credentials from the Peace Corps/College Degree Program at the State University of New York in Brockport. She then spent 6 years as a university level Math/Science Teacher Trainer in Peru and Chile. She credits her creative problem solving, resourcefulness, and diverse cultural collaboration skills to her Peace Corps experience.

Jackie has a Masters in Instructional Technology from the University of Southern California and a PhD in Science Education from Curtin University of Technology from Perth, W. AU. She is a recognized authority in STEM and Science Education. Jackie’s teaching experience includes 29 years of service in Lennox and Anaheim districts in K-8 multi subject and science classrooms.

Today Jackie supports STEM education non-profit organizations as a board member of both the ARCS Foundation and AISS. She has served as a writing instructor for AISS scholars this summer, often attending field trips and events and tutoring students one-on-one.
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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