Advocate Grant Program | Society for Science & the Public

Advocate Grant Program

Providing training, stipends, and year-round support to mentors supporting underrepresented and low income students in entering science research competitions.

The Advocate Program was created because the Society found that underserved students are often missing from the finalist groups of the Society’s competitions. In order to change this, the Society created the Advocate Grant Program to provide mentors to encourage underserved students to enter their projects in science research competitions. The Advocates, who become a supportive cohort to each other, receive training and support from Society staff, a $3,000 stipend and a paid trip to Washington, D.C., to meet in person at a weekend-long convening.

Learn More About the Society's Advocate Program

Since Advocates support students in diverse settings and have varying levels of experiences, all applicants are asked to choose one Advocate type for which they would like to apply. There are no quotas for Advocate types - all applications of any type are considered equally.

Please read the descriptions and on the application select the Advocate type that best fits your experience level and goals combined.

Society Advocates (center) show students an elephant toothpaste experiment at the 2017 Advocate Training Institute.
Society Advocates (center) show students an elephant toothpaste experiment at the 2017 Advocate Training Institute.
Photo courtesy of Society for Science & the Public/Jessica Yurinko.

Advocates support the students in:

  • finding potential research competitions
  • being aware of deadlines
  • gathering information needed for the application
  • navigating the overall science competition process

Advocates receive a stipend of $3,000; opportunities to meet and interact with their cohort both in-person and throughout the program duration, and ongoing training and support from the Society. Funding for the Advocate Grant Program is provided by Arconic Foundation, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and Regeneron.

It is important for socioeconomically challenged students to participate in science fairs because they give students opportunities beyond what can be offered in the classroom.
—Scott Bolen

Why should students participate in scientific competition?

  • learn the true nature of science and experience the thrill of discovery
  • gain additional skills such as learning how to write a scientific journal article and how to present their work to peers, scientists and the public
  • inspire confidence in their scientific abilities
  • lead them to consider a STEM career
  • provide monetary awards for post-secondary education
  • boost a student’s chance of acceptance into the college or university of their choice
One of Charmain Brammer's (2017 Advocate) peers into a microscope.
One of Charmain Brammer's (2017 Advocate) peers into a microscope.

2018-2019 Lead Advocates, who will mentor groups of Advocates:

  • Laurel Bingman, Northbrook High School, Houston, Texas
  • Charmain Brammer, SUCCESS Academy DSU, St George, Utah
  • Jennifer Claudio, Oak Grove High School, San Jose, California
  • Priscilla Lumbreras, Granbury High School, Granbury, Texas
  • Douglas Masterson, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Elizabeth Proctor, Jasper County High School, Monticello, Georgia
  • Brenda Rubenstein, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

The Advocates for the 2018-2019 school year:

  • Marvin  Bayro, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Maya Bhagat, Franklin Learning Center, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
  • Cheyenne Branscum, Shawnee Middle School, Shawnee, Oklahoma
  • Denise Caceres, Philadelphia High School for Girls, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Celia Castellanos, Foshay Learning Center, Los Angeles, California
  • Carrie Cox, Chamberlain High School, Chamberlain, South Dakota
  • Jennifer Donnelly, Union City High School, Union City, New Jersey
  • Amy Douglas, Captain Shreve High School, Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Creighton Edington, Media Arts Collaborative Charter School, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Errik Ejike, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Conrad Faine, American Senior High School, Hialeah, Florida
  • Lisa Franchetti, Carver High School for Engineering and Science, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Shannon Fraser, Priest River Lamanna High School, Priest River, Idaho
  • Mark Friedman, LA Maritime Institute/Animo High School, Inglewood, California
  • Constantina Green, Lower Richland High School, Hopkins, South Carolina
  • Cynthia Hopkins, Kaffie Middle School, Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Tinika Jackson, Eastern Senior High School, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Merridith Joly, Washington Technology Magnet School, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Stephanie Jones, Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Vincent Joralemon, Frank McCourt High School, New York, New York
  • Kehkashan Khan, CCA Academy, Chicago, Illinois
  • Frank LaBanca, Westside Middle School Academy, Danbury, Connecticut
  • Mindy Levine, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island
  • Jamie Ludwig, Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
  • Reny Mathew, Greyhills Academy High School, Tuba City, Arizona
  • Pradip Misra, Bagdad High School, Bagdad, Arizona
  • Andrew Moore, Port Huron High School Port Huron, Michigan
  • Deborah Morgan, South Sevier High School, Monroe, Utah
  • Alexis Mychajliw, La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, Los Angeles, California
  • Marteen Nolan. Crocker R-2 High School, Crocker, Missouri
  • Lorraine O'Shea, Valley Middle School, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • Heather Overkamp, I. C. Norcom High School, Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Pamela Patterson-Anhalt, Shawano Community High School, Shawano, Wisconsin
  • Ashley Poloha Wellborn, Pasadena Memorial High School, Pasadena, Texas
  • Chris Reeves, Camdenton High School, Camdenton, Missouri
  • Jeanne Richardson, Graham Junior High School, Graham, Texas
  • Kimberly Ring, Eureka Junior/Senior High School, Eureka, Kansas
  • Devon Riter, Lower Brule Research/Lower Brule Tribal School, Lower Brule, South Dakota
  • Sunada Roberts, SciTech High School, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Tracy Rumbaugh, Omaha Central High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Diana Techentien, Guardian Catholic School, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Kiwanna Wade, Helena-West Helena Schools, West Helena, Arkansas
  • Carolyn Walling, Iowa City West High School, Iowa City, Iowa

View the previous Advocate classes:

Advocates class of 2017-2018

Advocates class of 2016-2017