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SEFCU, UAlbany NanoCollege and Girls Inc. announce launch of the nation's first nanotechnology-based Eureka!® program

The $800,000 pioneering initiative will inspire young women to pursue high-tech education and careers, further supporting the growth of New York's emerging nanotechnology sector

Video: SEFCU, CNSE and Girls Inc. Announce the Nation's First Nanotechnology-Based Eureka! Program

Maya DarganAlbany, New York – The critical effort to encourage young women to pursue a growing number of educational and career opportunities in the field of nanotechnology – further supporting New York’s fastest-growing high-tech industry – received a boost today when the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany and Girls Inc., buoyed by significant financial support from SEFCU, officially launched the nation’s first Girls Inc. Eureka!® program to focus on nanotechnology.

Lonnie Threatte, Assistant Secretary for Higher Education in the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, said, “The launch of this innovative program is providing new opportunities to create the highly skilled workforce that is fundamental for the state’s emerging nanotechnology industry. The Governor congratulates the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region, and SEFCU on an important partnership that provides both access and opportunity for young women. We hope the participants follow cutting edge educational and occupational paths in the technology driven society of today.”

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, “It is fitting that this innovative program take place in New York and at SUNY, where the UAlbany College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering has pioneered countless advances in nanotechnology. Governor Cuomo and the entire SUNY system are keenly focused on partnering with school districts, local businesses, and community groups to expand educational opportunities for students of all ages. Hundreds of young women in the Capital District will benefit from the Eureka!® program, and we are proud to engage them in this exciting joint venture. I commend my colleagues at CNSE for getting this program off the ground and thank SEFCU for their generous support.”

Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and CEO of CNSE, said, “In building on the vision and leadership of the education governor, Governor Andrew Cuomo, in developing a world-class diverse workforce to support New York’s growing global hub in nanotechnology, the UAlbany NanoCollege is delighted to embark on this exciting partnership with Girls Inc., enabled by the generous support of our forward-thinking partners at SEFCU. This collaboration breaks new ground in launching the SEFCU, UAlbany NanoCollege and Girls Inc. Announce Launch of Eureka!® Program the nation’s first-ever Girls Inc. Eureka!® program focused on nanotechnology, offering unique opportunities to encourage young women to pursue high-tech education and careers and further showcasing New York as Exhibit A of the 21st century innovation economy.”

“SEFCU is proud to join CNSE and Girls Inc. in developing this pioneering program to make STEM fun and exciting for kids. The Capital Region is recognized as a hub for scientific research and developing groundbreaking work in nanosciences, but children in our area, and specifically girls, still lag behind in the studies of science, technology, education, and math. This Eureka! program will introduce young, inner-city girls to college, to the advanced sciences, and to what we all hope will be their futures…and ours,” said Michael J. Castellana, SEFCU President and CEO.

Mary Bayly Skevington, Chair of Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region, said, “Girls Inc. is elated to work with our partners CNSE and SEFCU to help girls gain skills that are increasingly important for all careers and expose them to the fastest-growing careers in the Capital Region. The hands-on, integrated approach of Eureka! engages each participant’s mind, body and spirit at the critical young adolescent stage when her personal and academic choices greatly influence her future. We are excited to take this national Girls Inc. program to the next level here in the Capital Region.”

The cost of the five-year program is $800,000. SEFCU has committed to provide $340,000 to fund this first-of-its-kind initiative with the initial cohort of 30 girls, all of whom will be entering 8th grade this fall in the City of Albany. The four-week summer program is set to begin on July 23. Over the next five years, the Girls Inc. Eureka!® program at CNSE will provide as many as 150 girls – at no cost – with a path to exciting careers and post-secondary education in nanoscience, nanoengineering and nanobioscience. CNSE will complement the SEFCU funding with $460,000 from its corporate funding sources.

Designed to engage underserved populations within the City of Albany, the first two years of the Girls Inc. Eureka!® program at the UAlbany NanoCollege feature an intensive summer camp experience, with hands-on nanoscale education at CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex and weekly field trips focused on the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In years three through five, girls will participate in paid internships with local businesses and organizations. Additional support is provided through continuing education during each school year and ongoing assessment throughout the program.

In addition to financial support, SEFCU will follow these girls as they participate in Eureka! and provide wrap-around programs related to leadership development, workforce preparation, financial literacy, and service to the community. Toward this end, SEFCU will encourage Eureka! program participants to partner with SEFCU in furthering our community purpose by actively participating in some of the many community service volunteer activities that encourage good citizenship and a sense of community responsibility.

The emergence of New York’s nanotechnology sector, fueled by the rapid growth of the UAlbany NanoCollege, makes the program particularly timely, amid projections by the National Science Foundation that the nanotechnology field will employ 6 million people worldwide by 2020, including 2 million in the United States.

SEFCU, UAlbany NanoCollege and Girls Inc. Announce Launch of Eureka!® Program Applications for the Girls Inc. Eureka!® program at CNSE may be obtained by visiting www.girlsinccapitalregion.org. For additional information or questions, please call (518) 374-9800 or email Eureka@gcr.girls-inc.org with the subject “Eureka! Question.”


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