POWER – Bay Area is a mentoring program and workshop series for Bay Area community college students interested in the physical sciences. We welcome participation from all women and nonbinary community college students, even those who haven’t decided on a major!  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 Spring 2021, we will have the following workshops:

Transfer Student Q&A Panel

You will get a chance to get advice from students who have recently transferred from community college to UCs and CSUs.  It will be a great time to learn more about the transfer process, what to expect during the transition process, and how to get involved in science research after you transfer!  Come with any questions you have about the transfer process–our panelists will be happy to answer them!

Navigating Science Q&A Panel: Pathways from Undergrad and Beyond

Here, you will have the opportunity to hear from a variety of role models in science.  We will ask the panelists to talk about the science that they do and how they got to their current career role. We’ll also ask them to share advice for students considering a career in science. After that, you’ll have a chance to ask the panelists your questions. You will get to preview their bios in advance to help you prepare for what questions you might have for them.

Past workshops have included “Building your support network” and “Sharing strategies for remote learning.”

Important Dates

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

Form deadlines:

Thur, Feb 11: Sign-up form due

Thur, Feb 18: Mentor pairing form due

Events (5 pm Pacific time):

Thur, Feb 18: Spring Kickoff

Thur, March 4: Transfer Student Panel

Thur, April 22: Navigating Science Panel

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 February 11, 2021.

Spring 2021 Roadmap


Use this Google form to email our coordinators:

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