Student from CCS Grantee STEM Educational Institute Headed to Columbia

Maggie Barrows
February 14, 2023

At CCS Grantee STEM Educational Institute (SEI), high school students get financial support, social and mental health resources, and skills training to help prepare them for college and careers in STEM fields. They offer a variety of courses, including introductions to python, personal finance, and data science. Last summer, SEI used their grant from Columbia Community Service to support their Summer Scholars program, which was held at the Pinkerton Clubhouse at Madison Square Boys and Girls club.

Christopher Grullon, who credits SEI programs with empowering and encouraging him, was accepted to Columbia University as part of the class of 2027. He'll be studying civil engineering at Columbia Engineering. Grullon speaks highly of his experiences at SEI: "The STEM Educational Institute helped me learn new techniques to boost my confidence enough to talk to peers I have never met before. Including writing down inspirational statements that I hope to pursue each day and a four step dance that encourages me to “Show Up and STEM Out”. Also, the STEM Educational Institute Program helped me become more cooperative when working in groups thanks to the interactive team activities the program offered.

"My favorite was being put into groups of three and making presentations representing different companies and convincing the judges why they should invest in our company. My team got Tesla and we ended up winning the presentation competition, thanks to our research, enthusiasm, confidence and python-coding skills."

Grullon, a graduate of Columbia Secondary School who has wanted to go to Columbia since he was in middle school, was thrilled by his acceptance last December. "My acceptance into Columbia was one of the most joy-filled moments of my life. I remember on December 15, 2022 I had received the update on my application status and when I opened it up to find my acceptance video I was jumping for joy with my family congratulating me and jumping alongside me. Finally getting accepted after spending years of high school building up my resume and maintaining great academic integrity made the wait all worthwhile."

Learn about all the Columbia Community Service grantees.