1. Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences at Scripps Research

Since 2005, Scripps Research has invited the best and the brightest young minds from colleges and universities around the world to pursue doctoral (Ph.D.) studies on its Jupiter, Florida campus. As part of the institute’s Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences, the rigorous course of advanced biomedical study is ranked among the top 10 programs of its kind in the nation and allows research-motivated students to immerse themselves in the very latest laboratory investigation in chemical biology, immunology, neuroscience, drug discovery, bioinformatics, and much more.

When students matriculate into the Skaggs Graduate School, they do not join a department. Students have access to the entire curriculum and the entire faculty affiliated with the school, regardless of the faculty member’s department. This approach allows students to be broadly trained and emphasizes the creation of basic knowledge in the biosciences.

Today more than ever, the importance of training highly skilled, innovative and driven biomedical researchers capable of tackling the most pressing public health crises is abundantly clear. The Skaggs Graduate School on Scripps Research’s Jupiter campus has already produced dozens of such scientists in its relatively short tenure, many of whom have since taken impactful roles at major universities, research institutes, and in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

2. Engineering Program at The Benjamin School

The engineering program at The Benjamin School begins with our youngest three-year-old learners in the Worlds of Wonder program and continues through high school graduation. Students are immersed in a variety of maker spaces and enjoy hands-on instruction in the School’s state-of-the-art Maglio Family STEM Center.

The School’s curriculum inspires a new generation of innovators across multiple disciplines. Many subjects, including English, social studies, and geography, all incorporate a STEM application into their studies.

The School offers an Engineering Certificate that allows graduates to earn an additional certificate following completion of a variety of engineering courses, extracurricular activities in the STEM field, and a capstone project.

The Engineering program at TBS tries to extend its reach to the broader South Florida community by hosting events like “maker nights” that are open to all interested high school students.

The Benjineers, the School’s engineering club, also undertakes community service projects. Pre-COVID, the group designed a haunted house for the Elks Club that was outfitted with materials made from the School’s 3D printers.

Recent class of ’21 graduate Madeline Hart said her desire to pursue engineering extended back to when she was a middle school student at Benjamin.

“I don’t think I actually knew what that meant until 8th grade. We had the option to take a second science course, and ever since the Rube Goldberg Machine Project I’ve had my heart set on majoring in Mechanical Engineering,” says Hart, who will do just that in the fall at Cornell University.

Hart is one of several graduates who have gone on the pursue STEM and engineering fields at competitive colleges and universities across the country.

3. Prestigious National Scholarship Program, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Since its establishment in 2017, the Prestigious National Scholarship Program at Palm Beach Atlantic University has promoted and assisted student applicants to major national and international awards. While no student in the school’s first fifty years of existence won a Fulbright Award (one of the highest honors an American college student can receive), PBA has now had six Fulbright Award winners in the past three years – with success that has increased each year (one winner in 2018, two in 2019, and three in 2020). This has allowed PBA students to serve as national ambassadors by teaching in countries from Spain to South Korea and from Bulgaria to Burma. The Prestigious National Scholarship Program advises a diverse group of students, coordinates support during the application process, and offers students a clear method for approaching any prestigious application. As a result, even those student applicants who have not won Fulbright Awards have been well prepared to achieve other major opportunities – from the Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies in Cambodia to the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. to offers for graduate study at Georgetown University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Florida. Currently expanding to mentor applicants for the Truman, Gilman, and Rhodes Scholarships, the Prestigious National Scholarship Program has established an institutional culture of success for PBA in major award competition, highlighting the global potential of both the school and its students.

FAU accounting graduate Kisha Mehide

4. Educate Tomorrow at Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University is working to change outcomes for our former foster youth and homeless students’ academic success. Nationwide, approximately 70% of foster youth aspire to attend college. But only around 10% of these students will attend college, and less than 3% will graduate. Through our efforts, we have developed a support program that increases our students’ academic performance and graduation rates. Approximately 90% of Educate Tomorrow at FAU students are in good academic standing. Further, more than 70% of our students have at least a 2.5 GPA and currently 48% are graduating on time.

Educate Tomorrow at FAU is a comprehensive program designed specifically for students who have experienced foster care or homelessness. The program provides wrap around services, from admission to graduation, with a goal of creating a foundation of support, academic coaching, career advising, and access to services on and off campus. The support includes book stipends, care packages, bi-weekly advising check ins, progress updates, and a dedicated and specially trained academic advisor and success coach. Most of these students only have a garbage bag (most do not even have a suitcase) of personal items and clothes when they move into their residence hall. Through our OWLADOPT a room program, we outfit their residence hall rooms with everything from sheets and a pillow, iron, basic school supplies and a small dorm refrigerator—all the things most students take for granted when their parents make a quick trip to the local stores to outfit their living spaces.