Wrapping up their freshman year at Stanford University, identical twin sisters Erica and Jessica Rivera have always had a deep-seated love for numbers. From as early as fourth grade, the now 19-year-old math majors remember the joy they felt solving math problems in class.
"As soon as I start working on a math problem, I feel like I am stepping into a different world," Erica explains. "A world where there just might be a possible solution to every problem."
Looking for solutions to life's problems is something Erica and Jessica have had their fair share of. Raised by a single mother who immigrated from Mexico with little more than a fifth-grade education, the twins endured many financial and personal hardships over the years, but they never let it define them.
The TGR Learning Lab became an educational refuge for the girls. While they were first introduced to the learning lab during their elementary school's weeklong field trip in fifth grade, it wasn't until the twins were freshmen in high school that the lab became part of their daily routine. They came in to study for exams, receive help on homework and take part in dozens of STEM-related after-school classes. With longstanding support from the Tiger Woods Foundation and their unwavering determination to succeed, the Rivera sisters are redefining what it means to be a champion. They remind us of just how vital our work is and how life-changing your support can be.
To date, the Tiger Woods Foundation has introduced 85,000 girls to STEM careers at our TGR Learning Labs across the nation. But with 8.6 million STEM careers expected in the U.S. by 2018, there is an urgent need to reach more kids -- especially girls, who are underrepresented within the STEM industry.
The Tiger Woods Foundation's STEM courses address this critical need to bridge the achievement gap and provide educational opportunities to those who need it most. With over 50 areas of study within STEM-related fields at no cost to students, our classes offer hands-on learning experiences, allowing underserved youth to recognize their potential, build technical skills and identify their interests with a future STEM career in mind.
Our STEM career exploration program is unique in its breadth of topics and immersive approach to early career exposure and workforce development. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology and project-based learning, students take classes in a variety of disciplines, including coding, wearable electronics, robotics and engineering coupled with real-world engagement via 3-D printers, coding software and industry experts.
Your support helps us provide critical and early STEM programming for thousands of students who will one day shape our workforce. Join us in increasing their probability for success.
Champions of the unexpected.