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Biology Scholars Program

Raised toward our $3,000 Goal
26 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 30, at 11:59 PM PST
Project Owners

Support Science for All: Berkeley's Biology Scholars Program

BSP Director and Co-Founder, John Matsui, receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring at the White House.A "home away from home," the Biology Scholars Program (BSP) is a space where students are supported and empowered to reach their educational and career goals. Since 1992, the BSP - a “high-touch” undergraduate academic and diversity program - has successfully served over 3800 undergraduates from low-income, first-to-college, and minoritized ethnic backgrounds. BSP works side-by-side with its members to help them express their untapped potential and to create blueprints for their academic, professional, and personal success. 

Over the past 30 years, BSP has re-written the story of who can succeed in science at Berkeley and beyond. Members belong to an inclusive community and environment that is the cornerstone of a rewarding and full college experience for our students, regardless of background. 

Your support for BSP is support for equity in science education.

*Help Support Students*

The BSP student room is truly *home away from home* for our students. Because campus study space is so limited, BSP student members pretty much live in the room during finals review week. BSP students who live off campus often lack resources to travel back and forth from campus to home to eat, and also often lack resources to go to restaurants during review week. This room is a sanctuary where students are supported in their needs for nourishment, technology, and connection. 

Your gift will go towards diversifying STEM education by providing BSP students with resources to help them succeed at Cal. It will provide nourishing food for students during finals review week, updated computers that are critical to our students' academic success, and room maintenance supplies so the room remains a safe and healthy environment. 

Your support today will allow us to: 

  • Provide room maintenance supplies essential to keeping the BSP room safe and healthy for students during the winter cold and flu season. ($500.00)
  • Provide students with nutritious food in the room during final exam times when many students face food insecurity and find it harder to nourish themselves. ($1000.00)
  • Purchase 2 new computers  for the student study room. The old computers are no longer functional after 10+ years in use. These computers are essential for students who lose access to their personal computer and do not have the funds to replace it immediately. ($3500.00)


*Program Successes*

  • For students who identify as underrepresented minority (URM), those who participate in the BSP have higher graduation rates compared to the campus average at 92% (BSP) versus 83% (campus) for URM  freshman, and 94% (BSP) versus 89% (campus) for URM transfer students. 
  • Over the lifetime of the program, over 1500 respondents reported having established their careers in five primary areas. Healthcare topped the list, followed by biotechnology and research, education, law and policy.
  • Between 2006-2009, 10% of all African-Americans enrolled in a California medical program - based on AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) data - came from BSP.
  • To find out more about BSP members and program success, CLICK HERE to see program data. 

*Alumni Stories*

"Being one of the only Latino students in my science classes was a very isolating experience. BSP gave me the opportunity to meet other minority students with similar career interests and gave me the confidence I needed to pursue any career in medicine." 

- Shelby Cardoza, PA-C | Physician Assistant | Neurosurgery Department, Stanford Health Care Hospital | Class of 2014, Integrative Biology

"BSP provided a sense of community and purpose while at Cal. Now as a corporate attorney in the biotech and life science communities, I seek to build a similar community in the industry." 

- James Huie | Corporate attorney at Wilson Sonsini, Partner | Class of 2002, Molecular & Cell Biology with an emphasis in Biochemistry

"BSP has created a positive feedback cycle of inspiring mentor/mentee relationships for young scientists that have one underlying goal -- make the world better in some shape, size, or form."

- Yalda Afshar, Physician Scientist MD, PhD | Assistant Professor, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, UCLA | Class of 2004, Molecular & Cell Biology, Integrative Biology & Anthropology


Choose a giving level


BSP Advocates

Help keep the BSP room a safe "home away from home" for students.


BSP Supporters

Help provide nourishing food for our students.


BSP Friends

Help provide critical technological upgrades for our students.


BSP Family

Help sustain equitable STEM education for all.

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