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Who's Involved:

SCU Faculty/Staff:

  • Dr Robert Schaffer: Engineering
  • Dr Kristin Kasanovoch: Theater and Dance
  • Adriana Meza-Gutierrez: Thriving Neighbors Program Director

Community Members and Co-authors:

  • Roberto Gil: Director of Self-Sufficiency at Sacred Heart Community Service
  • Mike Vega: Education Manager at Sacred Heart Community Service
  • Alejandro Gonzalez: Sacred Heart Community Services Youth Education Coordinator

SCU Student Contributor:

  • Logan Barnes
  • Maria Esquivel
  • Abby Nairn
  • Gloria Sevilla


Hours of enrichment in 2018-2019 after-school program



After School Enrichment Support with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)

This flagship TN after school pipeline program supports SCU faculty and students in developing and delivering curriculum for elementary school students in conjunction with SCU courses on STEM, Art and Leadership.

Partnered with community agencies to support their existing educational enrichment programs through collaboration with SCU faculty and student support. Students in Conjunction with TN Fellows provide enrichment opportunities that include STEM and the arts.

Visual and Performing Arts

  • Dance
  • Theatre


  • Science
  • Math
  • Tech Challenge
  • Scientific Journaling

Designed to make college a reality for all, the Thriving Neighbors after-school program builds on Washington Elementary School’s educational themes, while integrating science, technology, literacy, and California Common Core Standards into a 24-week, project-based, afterschool program. For its first cohort, the academic enrichment program invited 45 top-performing students of Washington Elementary School to continue on their quest for knowledge through hands-on learning activities that expand the walls of the classroom.

In its initial year the Thriving Neighbors Initiative after-school program provided more than 7,500 additional academic enrichment learning hours for participants. Today, this flagship TNI program supports SCU faculty and students in developing and delivering curriculum for more than 100, 3rd-7th graders from Washington Elementary and local, urban middle schools in conjunction with SCU courses on Engineering, Art, Social Justice and Leadership.

From our portable classroom at Washington Elementary School, SCU faculty, staff and student mentors encourage academic achievement by incorporating a project-based curriculum with tutoring, mentoring, educational speakers, and field trip opportunities to visit SCU engineering labs and art programs, as well as museums, community service sites and cultural events. An ongoing, mixed-methods program evaluation includes the collection of student work in the program, as well as grades and test scores and parent and teacher interview analysis.

Each year-long elementary program is supported by 3 cohorts of college student mentors who rotate in on a quarterly basis. Each also includes a capstone presentation or event that invites parents, teachers and SCU students, faculty and staff to learn from the elementary students’ experiences.