The Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative is recruiting

Become a STEM Signing Day Mentor

Support and engage our future STEM professionals

Apply Here

The program

While potential is equally available, opportunities are not always equitably distributed. Because we recognize this, we are redistributing social capital by amplifying justice-oriented STEM practices. STEM Signing Day Mentors provides a break from structural norms and individualized thinking.

We encourage and engage students to draw away from racial, gender, and other embedded social and cultural biases, enabling youth to champion their wealth of diversity and thoughtful, demonstrable futuristic ideas. The holistic approach we take allows us to faithfully disrupt invisible structures while creating a communal culture to address the importance of youth identity by adopting values for a sustainable program via guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling. We are closing the mentoring gap and holding the door of opportunity open.

This program provides STEM Signing Day recipients and alum with support on their academic and career pursuits. STEM Signing Day Mentors will be a viable and incredible resource for our STEM Signing Day recipients and alum.


STEM Signing Day Mentors are STEM professionals, graduate and undergraduate faculty and students who are committed to supporting our local STEM Signing Day awardees and communities. There are two mentorship cohorts.

Cohort 1 matches mentors with prospective STEM Signing Day recipients who will be entering college this upcoming academic year. Cohort 2 matches mentors with STEM Signing Day alum who are currently pursuing a STEM related field in a college, university, or two year college.

To walk through the process of becoming a mentor, ask yourself the following questions:

Meet a Mentor

Sarah Tinsman

Program Director for Project Exploration


Sarah is the current Program Director for Project Exploration. She is passionate about creating meaningful learning opportunities for young people -- especially in science class. She received a Master’s degree in Education from SMU, and taught 8th-grade science in Dallas for a year. She then moved to Chicago, where she spent the last three years teaching 7th-grade science for the Noble Charter School Network. Sarah joined Project Exploration because of her love for getting young people excited about discovering and exploring their world.


"Mentorship is more than teaching and learning because it has the relationship at the center. When you are able to guide and pour into a young person, it doesn’t stop there. That person is now empowered to change things for others and will be able to make things possible. It’s the start of an amazing domino effect! Mentoring changes the future for the better."


Why someone chooses to become a mentor is a personal decision. Mentorship can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both the mentor and mentee. Some reasons why we believe STEM Signing Day mentors are impactful include:


The first step to becoming a STEM Signing Day Mentor is to complete the Mentor Application. We use the application and supplemental surveys to create mentor profiles and matches. We will contact you when we have received your application and invite you to a Mentor Orientation.

There will be two cohorts of mentors – one for alum/past STEM Signing Day recipients and one for 2021 STEM Signing Day recipients. Mentors choose which cohort they want to be a part of in the Mentor Application.

All meetings will be held virtually. Mentors and mentees work together to decide which meeting format would work best for them.

Mentors are expected to be available to your mentee outside of formal mentoring when needed via email, text, etc.

Expect this program to be, at minimum, a one-year mentoring relationship. Mentors can continue to meet with mentees at their discretion after the first year.

More detailed information on the How of the program can be found at our Information and Orientation Sessions. Check below for upcoming events!

Join the STEM Signing Day Mentorship Program

RSVP to our information sessions to learn more

Upcoming Events

Next Session TBA

The STEM Signing Day Mentorship Program is a great opportunity for professionals and students to form connections that can lead to tremendous personal growth for both the mentor and mentee.

In these sessions we discuss the timeline of the program, ways that mentors can be a resource to mentees, and more information about how to get involved.