A cohort of talented San Bernardino Valley College MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) students connected with industry professionals in San Diego during an invite-only STEM conference in October.


“MESA’s Student Leadership Conference provides an incredible opportunity for our community college and university students to gain invaluable career development skills and network with leading industry professionals to kick-start their STEM careers,” said MESA Executive Director Thomas Ahn. “Our students represent the skills, passion and potential that California desperately needs to enrich our workforce and strengthen our communities. MESA students are among California’s most precious resources for diverse talent in the STEM fields.”


MESA’s Student Leadership Conference brought together hand-picked engineering and computer science students with industry to develop the next generation of STEM leaders. Held at the Marriott Mission Valley, October 28-29, this year’s conference challenged students to design a product or service (in about 30 hours) aimed at addressing a problem caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately impacts underserved communities. MESA has a 52-year history of changing the face of science, technology and engineering by developing a new generation of STEM leaders. Now with a network of more than 250,000 alumni, MESA fuels diversity by propelling historically underrepresented students toward STEM degrees and professional careers.


MESA students got the unique opportunity to interact one-on-one and in small groups with company executives, engineers and recruiters. Many often leave the conference with internship offers that lead to full time employment. Students networked, attended leadership and communications workshops in addition to the team challenge.


Each year MESA serves over 20,000 students at the pre-college, community college and university levels across California. We bridge classroom learning with real-world applications, and employ rigorous academics, leadership preparation, a peer community and collaborative problem-solving training to produce highly skilled college graduates who meet 21st century STEM workforce needs.