The Orlando Science Center, in partnership with the Zebra Coalition, has been awarded a $75,000 grant for an initiative that inspires students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+), to pursue STEM careers.
The initiative, called Catalyst, is a mentoring and professional development program to help students develop job readiness skills. Catalyst launched in August with a series of workshops provided to school sponsored Gay-Straight Alliance affiliates in Orange County Public Schools and the Zebra Coalition, an Orlando-based network organizations that provides services to LGBTQ+ and all youth ages 13 – 24.
“This new partnership with Zebra Coalition enables us to connect with youth at a very vulnerable time in their development and offer them valuable skill building and role models in a nurturing environment,” said Orlando Science Center President & CEO JoAnn Newman.
Universal Orlando Foundation awarded the $75,000 grant.
The Orlando Science Center led workshops are meant to nurture critical thinking, problem solving and skills needed for the 21st century workplace. Catalyst will work with area Gay-Straight Alliances already partnered with the Zebra Coalition to increase the capacity of the workshops currently being offered, according to a release.
The workshops serve as a feeder to the initiative’s six-week internship program. Universal Orlando employees will also be invited to speak to the students.