"I want to put a ding in the universe." - Steve Jobs
Dear AISS Supporter,

We are excited to announce that AISS is now on Amazon Smile!

When you shop on Amazon Smile, a small portion of any purchase you make will automatically go to AISS with no added cost! To support us on Amazon Smile, click here.
REMINDER: Our 3rd Annual AISS Bowl-A-Thon will be happening November 16th!
Join us for fun and fundraising! Details and sign up here.
The fall session has been busy so far for the AISS Scholars.During this session, scholars have been preparing for their SATs that they’ll be taking November 2nd.

Scholars recently went on a study trip to UCI’s Open Medical School Day where they learned about improving their resumes and the different routes to medical school. Scholars were able to ask any questions they had to a panel of current medical school students and admissions officers, whether it be about admissions or even just life advice.

 Furthermore, scholars had a workshop where they sutured a pigs’ feet using needle, forceps, and scissors. A UCI professor and two of his students guided the scholars through the basics of suturing and different techniques to do so. Getting used to the language and movements was a struggle at first, but the scholars were able to see what a surgeon does, being that many of them want to go into the medical field.


AISS Scholars participating in a suturing workshop

Later in the day, scholars had a moment to speak with Polly Beale, creative director and partner of A Very Good Agency. Polly got the scholars’ perspective on their experience at AISS for future branding purposes.

AISS Scholars at UCI Campus

With the start of their junior year, scholars have a hectic year ahead of them. Not only is this a critical year for their transcripts and test scores, but it’s also an important stage for their professional development. The scholars have utilized the skills that they’ve learned over the summer to have better professional relationships, networking skills, as well as public speaking skills. The scholars are looking forward to having more networking activities where they can talk to professionals in their field of interest. With your support, our scholars have the opportunity to improve their skills, broaden their horizons, and meet new people. Thank you for being a part of their journey!

Ky-Vinh Mai
Godinez Fundamental High School

My parents have always said I have been a special child. Since my birth, I had always faced adversity and challenge. Being sickly, I was born premature, gained pneumonia, and had to face tubes being stuck into me. It didn’t stop at that however, numerous surgeries have been performed on me. Pain always came along with this, yet I had always managed to push through.  Today I am lucky to be alive, and see myself as ambitious, clever, and most of all, hard working.

Being in AISS has taught me the necessary skill of being professional and confident
Stefanie Cervantes
AISS Class of 2009
One of the biggest things that AISS taught me was how to conduct research and write research papers. Like most AISS scholars, I have always been interested in learning and finding solutions. Having the skills to conduct independent research has opened a lot of opportunities for me, especially as an undergrad where I was given the chance to conduct independent research regarding master plans and zoning laws. That experience sparked my interest in urban planning and led to me attending grad school. After getting my Master Degree, I started working in the Planning Division for the City of Oceanside
My career allows me to assist a community and make a difference. A big part of my day-to-day is working with others in the city or with the public on projects, whether it is someone trying to add to their house or a developer trying to build a mixed-use project. Every day is slightly different, and every day there is a new question. I am also in a bit of transition with my current position where I am being given more projects in long-range planning. This aspect of planning deals with updating old plans and creating new ordinances. My favorite part of these projects is the research. I spend a lot of time researching what the city has historically done, why the current rules are in place, and how other cities are doing things. I also get to work with the community to hear what they want and how they want Oceanside to look. 
In the future, I hope to be able to work on more projects that shape cities. It is an amazing feeling to go to a project site after construction and know that you had a part in how people will use that building or space. I hope that every project I work on has an outcome of creating a better space and a better city. 

Lisette Gutiérrez

Chapman University Student Affairs Case Manager & AISS Board Member

I am excited and privileged to now be part of the Board of Directors of AISS. My experience in the program dates back to when I was a sophomore at Saddleback High School in 2009. Through the program, I became fascinated with the concept of giving back to my community, as AISS had done for me. I pursued my Bachelors Degree in Psychology at Chapman University, with minors in Sociology and Latin American Studies, graduating as a first gen college student in May 2015. Here, I merged my love for social justice and politics with my innate ability to connect with people. I went on to obtain my Masters in Social Work from USC, and was selected as one of 16 fellows in my entire cohort to receive supplemental consulting and management training, as well as, a life changing experience with the top national innovation hubs in Washington DC.

During my last year in my grad program, I was hired to work for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Orange County, specifically with the Jails Project. I was able to advocate for people whose civil rights have been continuously violated in Orange County jails, in addition to, organizing community members to push forward state policies that would protect and empower our communities. All the while, I remained being an instructor for AISS.

After graduating with my Masters, I realized that one of the most pivotal moments to create change makers is at the college level. Now that I have taken a break from the political sphere, I have joined Chapman University as a Student Affairs Case Manager through the Dean of Students office. It makes me happy to see students get a sense of relief, knowing that there are people who are willing to advocate for their needs. Two of my biggest projects at the moment have been 1) increasing resources to alleviate financial insecurity for students and 2) creating policies and procedures that protect undocumented students on campus. I am hoping that my role will be beneficial in continuing to build the partnerships between Chapman and AISS.
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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