Project SEED seeks students ready to plant scientific roots

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The stipend is tax-deductible since it’s a scholarship.
Richmond High students Andrea Melendez (left) and Emily Guerrero were Project SEED interns at the Chevron Richmond Technology Center this past summer.

By Kathy Chouteau

Project SEED, a paid summer fellowship program of the ACS (American Chemical Society), is looking for high school students interested in chemistry/science and qualifying as low-income to apply for its paid fellowship this summer. The application period opens Feb. 13 and continues through March 31.

Students participating in the nine-week-long Project SEED fellowships will receive the opportunity to cultivate their chemistry/science interest by getting hands-on or virtual research experience in a lab, bolster their college application and resume and strengthen their scholarship opportunities for college.

Last summer, Chevron Richmond was the only industrial participant in Project SEED’s California Section, which frequently teams up with academic labs, according to Dr. Elaine Yamaguchi, who has served as a volunteer coordinator for Project SEED for 40 years. Four total students from Richmond High School, DeAnza High School, Hercules High School and Pinole Valley High School participated at the company and were supervised by an employee.

“They carefully selected the projects that high school students would do,” said Dr. Yamaguchi about Chevron Richmond.

Twenty students participated in Project SEED’s California Section in 2022, while 272 participated in the program nationwide. Dr. Yamaguchi said she knows of two Project SEED program graduates—one from Richmond and the other from Oakland—who went on to be hired by Chevron Richmond.

The fellowships “Economically open [students] horizons to other possibilities, especially in the science field,” the longtime volunteer added.

First-time “seed 1” students will receive $3,200 upon successful completion of the full-time program, while returning “seed 2” students receive $3,800. The stipend is tax-deductible since it’s a scholarship. 

To qualify for Project SEED, high school students must have an interest in chemistry/science, qualify as low-income based on the program’s criteria (see website) and have successfully completed one high school chemistry course.

Apply by the March 31 deadline here. For questions relating to the application, call 1-800-227-5558 (ext. 4380) or email [email protected] and mention you’re in the “California Section.”