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A commitment to  empower our youth through education and engagement to help them have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.




Develop 21st century skill set through STEM education

Provide programs that teach on a variety of STEM concepts



Students collaborate in the completion of STEM projects

Teach ownership through time management, accountability and communication

Create a competitive advantage

Participate in high level STEM activities

Work with current STEM professionals





Underserved students empowered nationally through STEM experiences to drive innovation.

“I knew I wanted to go into science, but when I met scientist that looked like me, I knew I could do it."

Jay Jay, previous gSTEM student 





In Candice Halbert's work setting as a STEM professional, she is often the only woman in the room, and even more often the only person of color. To change this, in 2016, she started Girls in STEM (gSTEM) to expose young ladies in middle school to current STEM professionals, projects, and ideas that they normally would not have access to. She and other women volunteers from ORNL mentor local middle school girls to show them the benefits of a STEM career through hands-on experiments with practical, real-world applications. The experiments were wide ranging, such as learning to code, building simple Styrofoam hovercrafts, determining the amount of aspirin in an aspirin tablet, and growing different strains of bacteria commonly found on cell phones and door handle. Spring-boarding off the success of gSTEM, Candice expanded the STEM program by creating Youth Outreach in Science Technology Engineering and Math, YO-STEM for short, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in 2017.


Under YO-STEM,  Build-a-Drone club was created at the request of Vine Middle School. In it, co-ed middle schoolers built, calibrated, programed, and piloted ground and aerial drones, from LEGO models to advanced-level designs. With this co-ed program we were able to serve young men and women and tap into their everyday curiosity about drone technology.


Since our beginnings we have switched our Build-a-Drone club over to Robotics and opened up programming to younger students through our STEM Saturday program. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators.


With the support of our community and sponsors, we have been able to bring impactful STEM programming and activities to over 3000 students via our after-school programs and community involvement. 74% of our students are cultural minorities, and 51% are girls.   Our goal is to facilitate a competitive advantage so that our students will thrive in the marketplace, build wealth, and positively impact society.



These programs are sponsor​ed by your contributions!


To successfully continue providing high-quality STEM programing to students we will need your help!


Our work would not be possible without

 our partners and sponsors.

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