Billions of dollars have been invested over the last decade on efforts to increase diversity in the biomedical workforce yielding limited success. Specifically, African American and Hispanic populations have seen the lowest increase in research workforce representation (NSF 2016). The City of Hope (COH) Comprehensive Cancer Center YES2SUCCESS Program's primary goal is to further develop and maintain a robust pipeline of middle and high school students (grades 6- 12) excited about biomedical research and facilitate undergraduate degree seeking students with summer cancer research experiences. Our program intends to help provide a diverse workforce of students working in underserved populations to reduce cancer health disparities. The program's primary objective is to use a multidisciplinary approach to train qualified candidates, from southern California's underserved populations, in cancer research. Students will be engaged from 6th to 9th grade in order to maintain an adequate pipeline of students for high school and undergraduate summer cancer research experiences. The YES2SUCCESS program will also support the further development of an optimal cancer health disparities research and training environment at the COH, which will reflect our community's unique population and needs. To achieve these goals, the following aims have been identified; 1). Provide a structured outreach program for students grades 6-9; 2). Provide cross-disciplinary research opportunities for students aged 16 years and above; 3). Identify and recruit outstanding racial/ethnic diverse applicants committed to cancer research; 4). Foster educational and collaborative links with school districts and undergraduate colleges and universities to provide a direct training pipeline from grade school through undergraduate programs and increase the number of researchers from underrepresented populations in cancer research. To meet this goal, we will; a). Utilize the COH's unique geographic location, which includes a regional population base comprised of a significant number of residents from underrepresented populations; b). Collaborate with southern California Universities in order to expand recruitment and research opportunities; and c). Draw upon our connections and on- going collaborations with several school districts in the San Gabriel Valley, namely, Azusa, Duarte, El Monte City, and Monrovia unified school districts; whose population base is comprised of a total of 66% underrepresented minority individuals.
This Youth Enjoy Science (YES) grant is designed to leverage our long-standing and successful programs of education and training in cancer research at the City of Hope (COH) Comprehensive Cancer Center. The program?s primary objective is to train candidates from diverse backgrounds in cancer research with a multidisciplinary approach in southern California?s underserved populations; students will be engaged from 6th to 12th grade in order to maintain an adequate pipeline of students for high school and undergraduate summer cancer research experiences. This program will also support the further development of an optimal cancer health disparities research and training environment at the COH, which will reflect our community?s unique population and needs.