POWER – Bay Area is a mentoring program and workshop series for Bay Area community college students interested in the physical sciences. POWER supports students from marginalized genders, and we welcome participation from anyone who feels they would benefit.

The program is organized by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from the departments of Astronomy, Chemistry, Earth & Planetary Sciences, and Physics at UC Berkeley.

Current community college students are paired with a mentor with whom they will meet 2-3 times during the semester. In addition, we host two workshops each semester. Signup details are below.

Why should you join POWER?

Research shows that having a strong support network and having role models with whom you can identify are both highly beneficial for your academic and career goals.  This plays an especially important role in the retention of traditionally underrepresented groups in the physical sciences.  POWER provides an environment for participants to expand their support networks and be exposed to role models in the physical sciences. Via our virtual events and Slack workspace, we encourage networking with peers from your school alongside your interactions with your POWER mentor.

Mentoring Program

For the mentoring component of POWER, you will be paired with a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow who works in the Physical Sciences at UC Berkeley.  You will have 2-3 one-on-one meetings with this mentor throughout the semester.  The mentor-mentee meetings are a great opportunity to discuss topics such as choosing classes, the transfer process, undergraduate research/internships, and applying to graduate school.  Additionally, these meetings will allow you to learn about your mentor’s personal experience in academia and STEM and about how they have navigated challenges as they’ve advanced through their career.


Each semester, interactive workshops and panels provide additional resources to support your academic and professional journeys through opportunities to hear about other women’s experiences in STEM, networking with other students in your community, and sharing resources and advice.  During Fall 2021, we will have the following virtual workshops:

Building Your Support Network

At this workshop, we will discuss the importance of support networks in your academic journey and your career.  We will also work through a mentor-mapping exercise as a way to discuss strategies for building your own support network.

Funding Your College Education

At this workshop, you will learn about the financial aid and scholarships available to transfer students. There will be time for questions after the presentation.

Past workshops have included a Transfer Student Q&A panel featuring recent transfer students to UCs and CSUs and a Navigating Science Q&A panel featuring a variety of role models in science to discuss their academic journeys.

Important Dates

(see roadmap with links at the bottom of the page)

Fall 2021 Form deadlines:

Mon, Sept 20: Sign-up form due

Mon, Sept 27: Mentor pairing form due

Fall 2021 Events (held virtually over Zoom):

Fall Kickoff: Tue, Sept 28 @ 5pm Pacific Time

Building Your Support Network workshop: Fri, Oct 22 @ 2pm Pacific Time

Funding Your College Education workshop: Tue, Nov 9 @ 5pm Pacific Time

How to Join POWER

Please fill out this short sign-up form if you are interested in POWER!  This will add you to our mailing list. 

After you sign-up, you will receive a more detailed form used for mentor pairing.  You must fill out the mentor pairing form to get matched with a mentor. If you have questions regarding this process, feel free to drop them in the “questions” section of this sign-up form.

Complete the sign-up form by September 20, 2021.

Fall 2021 Roadmap


Use this Google form to email our coordinators:

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