BEAM's Newsletter, Spring 2019 edition: introducing our recent empowerment groups, high school admissions results, and job openings for summer staff 2019.
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BEAM's Empowerment Groups: Serving the Whole Student

Sylvia and the Young Women's Empowerment Group take a picture with Stephanie Ruhle from MSNBC.
Is BEAM doing enough to serve students holistically, as entire, unique individuals? Are we preparing them to enter the difficult and lonely spaces underrepresented minorities often encounter in STEM fields? 

These were some of the questions that Sylvia Ortega, BEAM’s High School Programs Social Worker, and Ayinde Alleyne, BEAM’s College Support Coordinator, set out to answer with a new BEAM initiative: empowerment groups. Sylvia leads the Young Women’s Empowerment Group while Ayinde organizes the Young Men’s Empowerment Group. Their goal is simple but powerful: to create safe spaces for BEAM students to have important conversations, both academic and otherwise.
“I want them to get to a point where they want to accomplish goals not because they are perfect but because they are brave and want to do these things for themselves." — Sylvia
A recent trip allowed the young women in Sylvia’s group to see such bravery in action. In February, the Young Women’s Empowerment Group went together to see Reshma Saujani in conversation with Stephanie Ruhle from MSNBC. Reshma Saujani is the founder of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization which works to close the gender gap in technology. 
“It felt so unreal to see Reshma sitting down and speaking to us about her book. In BEAM’s Women's Empowerment Group, we saw her TED talk and it was just crazy standing a couple of feet away from her listening to her inspiring story in real life! From that moment, I felt like I could do anything just like how she did anything and it was the best feeling ever.”  
— Mariam, BEAM '16

“I loved listening to Reshma!! I was inspired by how willing she is to step out of the box and do what people believe she is not capable of.”
— María, BEAM '14 

To learn more about BEAM's empowerment groups, how they came to be, and why they are important to our students, read more about them on our blog! 
Learn more!

Calling all college students: BEAM is hiring!

Hodaya and Darien play math bingo at BEAM Discovery Downtown 2018.
Many of our summer sites still have counselor positions open, including counselors for male halls at our residential programs and all positions at our day programs in New York City and Los Angeles.

BEAM counselors work with the rest of our staff to create an environment that is challenging and inclusive. Counselors provide mathematical support, while also learning topics themselves like number theory, combinatorics, and graph theory right alongside BEAM students.

Not currently a college student or recent graduate? Please help by sharing with those you know!
Learn more and apply today!
We are also looking for social workers, nurses, and Directors of Student Life for both BEAM Discovery and BEAM Summer Away! Additionally, we still have a few faculty positions open for qualified teachers, professors, or STEM professionals. If you are interested, check out the job descriptions below. 
Summer Jobs at BEAM

What We're Reading

This year high school students and their families faced a long wait for high school admissions results in NYC due to a lawsuit against a recent diversity initiative. When they did come out, the results demonstrated once again that minority students across NYC are getting in at much lower rates. Stuyvesant, one of the most famous high schools in the country, admitted only 7 black students to its most recent cohort of nearly 900. (But see below: one of them was a BEAM student!). Some youth are leading the charge to make a change, and it is exciting to see their experiences and efforts become a force to be reckoned with in the discourse surrounding this important issue. 

However, issues surrounding admissions reach far beyond NYC and also beyond high school. The recent college admissions scandal highlights issues surrounding the admissions processes at the college level. The scandal proved to be particularly revealing of the racial disparities at play in college admissions. 

Black History Month (February) was a great opportunity to reflect on the contributions of mathematicians of color. However, as long as a lack of diversity persists, those contributions come at a cost. A friend of BEAM’s and professor of Mathematics, Edray Goins, was featured in an article that painted a poignant portrait of what it can feel like to be “the only one”. A follow-up article focuses on why stories like Edray’s are so important to report on, including a quote from our founder and Executive Director, Dan Zaharopol: “Math is beautiful, and being a part of that should not be limited to just some people.”

It isn’t just the stories of underrepresented minorities that matter, it is also who tells them. In a recent story aired by 60 minutes centering on women in tech, Ayah Bdeir, founder of littleBits and the woman who was originally asked to be the primary spokesperson for the episode, found herself supplanted by a male lead. She penned a powerful piece reflecting on the experience, making a compelling case for expecting “every producer, reporter, and editor to take a pause and make sure they are representing stories completely and authentically.” 

In math news, women are shattering records and breaking barriers. Emma Haruka Iwao, a Google employee, has pushed the computed length of π to 31 TRILLION digits, blowing away the previous record of 22 trillion digits and all in time for π day! Meanwhile Karen Uhlenbeck, emeritus professor at UT Austin, became the first woman ever to be awarded the prestigious Abel prize for her foundational contributions to the field of geometric analysis. Beyond her mathematical contributions, Karen has a lot to teach her fellow mathematicians about how to create more welcoming spaces for the next generation of mathematicians.

High school, here we come! 

High school admissions results are finally in, and we are so excited for our students! This year over half of our students (51%) have been accepted to and will attend a Tier 1 school. For a school to be considered Tier 1 by BEAM, they must offer calculus and at least 85% of students who begin at the school must graduate ready for college. Out of over 400 public high schools in the city, only about 40 meet these criteria. 
Sam (left) was accepted to Bard High School Early College, while Amber (middle) was accepted to Fiorello H. Laguardia High School Of Music & Art and Performing Arts and Beacon High School, and Fitz (right) was accepted to NYC iSchool, all Tier 1 schools!
While diversity statistics at NYC's specialized schools remained dismal this year (with only seven black students being admitted to Stuyvesant High School), BEAM students are, in fact, succeeding in getting into these schools. Eleven of our students in all were admitted to specialized schools! Among them were Kathy (Brooklyn Latin), Rawin (Bronx Science), Kaden (Brooklyn Tech), and Camia (Stuyvesant).
We can't wait to see what our students will accomplish over the next four years! 
Find out where the rest of our students are going.

Congratulations, Ayinde!

A big congratulations to Ayinde Alleyne. After working a summer at BEAM in 2014, Ayinde joined our staff full-time in 2015. This winter, he won the PASEsetter award from the Partnership for After School Education. This award honors "afterschool educators whose commitment, energy, and creativity have had an indelible impact on the children and youth of New York City". Ayinde is one of five winners out of over 60 nominees. We're very proud and excited for him! 
Watch Ayinde's inspiring acceptance speech here!
Copyright © 2019 Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics, All rights reserved.

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