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Class of 2015 at Edwards Lifesciences learning about bioprosthetics

Our Mission

The mission of the Achievement Institute of Scientific Studies is to guide high-achieving, economically disadvantaged high school students interested in pursuing a career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. Our goal is to break the cycle of poverty.


We are a college readiness STEM program spanning over two years, the junior and senior years of high school, aiming to bridge the learning gap between high school and college. We focus on teaching our scholars Cultural Capital & Life Skills, College Readiness, and STEM Career Awareness.

To shape our students' personal, professional, and educational development, we host STEM guest speakers, teach networking and communication skills, create student excursions to college campuses and STEM career facilities, hands-on STEM projects, and much more.

What Do We Do?

Good Jobs Now and for the Future, by Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration, shows that growth in STEM jobs has been three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs over the last 10 years. And throughout the next decade, STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17%, compared to 9.8% growth for other occupations.”

-Gary Locke, Secretary of Commerce


A scholar from AISS class of 2017 introduces himself to Lucinda Pueblos, Assistant Superintendent of SAUSD

Our Goals

Motivate youth to specialize in the fields that are the future of our country, educational system, employment opportunities.

Coordinate industry and academic partners to motivate and assist our students in applying to colleges and universities, majoring in STEM fields

Help parents of economically disadvantaged high school students understand the value of higher education and access the resources necessary to enable their children to obtain a university education.

AISS Logo 2021_v3.png

Provide training on “cultural capital” to the students: leadership, team-work, cooperation, time management, manners, attire, comportment, and personal presentation skills.

The goal of Achievement Institute’s College to Career Readiness STEM Program is to provide low-income minority students in Santa Ana with a clear college to a career pathway in the STEM fields to ensure that they obtain gainful employment and break the cycle of poverty in their families.

AISS College Readiness STEM Program


  • Meet with High School Counselors to start the selection of students for the next cycle 

  • Distribute information to Counselors, Math & Science Teachers

  • Interview and select participants for the program

  • Send in request for the use of Community Facility for the Summer 

  • Select Summer Staff Assignments

  • Staff planning


  • SAT/ACT preparation 

  • $500-$800 Stipend 

  • Personal Development: Grooming, Manners, Business Etiquette, Dress for Success, Academic Ethics, Roberts Rules of Order

  • Scientific Calculator assignment and training

  • Science and Engineering Seminars: Civil, Mechanical, computer, Electronic, Environmental, Architectural, Architecture, Biology, Science Careers, MD Requirements, Nursing, Chiropractic Medicine, Genetics, Chemistry, Natural Biology.


  • Advanced SAT/ACT Preparation

  • Elligible tudents receive laptop and stipend

  • Educational Goal Setting: University Application Process, Study Trips, Entrance Planning, Financial Aid, Alumni/Recruiter presentations 

  • College Readiness: Choosing the Right University, Personal Essay and Portfolio Development 

  • Educational Development: Marine Biology Research and Project Writing a Scientific Paper/Powerpoint 
    Presentation, Advanced Scientific Topics

    •  Scientific Topics: Lasers and Optics, Nuclear Energy, Internet Research, Cell Regeneration, Outer Space Findings.



  • Scholarship Applications and Grants follow-up

  • Evaluation of University Admittance and Financial Aid Packages

  • Selection of University to attend

  • SAT/ACT Advance Preparaton 

  • STEM Career Awareness: Study Trips to Science-based Industries, Entrepreneurial aspects of the Sciences, Business Aspects of the Sciences

  • Educational Development: Science and Engineering Seminars: Civil, Mechanical, computer, Electronic, Environmental, Architectural, Architecture, Biology, Science Careers, MD Requirements, Nursing, Chiropractic Medicine, Genetics, Chemistry, Natural Biology


"AISS has given me all the self-confidence I have."

Paloma Gomez '15

  • College Readiness: University Portfolio Completion, University Study Trips, Submission of University Applications, Submission of Student Grants Applications, Scholarship Portfolio Completion, Scholarship Research, Submission of Scholarship Applications

Jesus Horta '09

"Participating in the Achievement Institute of Scientific Studies (AISS) has been one of the best choices I have made in my entire high school experience. Through AISS I was able to explore the types of science and math related fields available by having the opportunity to ask professionals about their jobs.​"

8 Week Summer Session Schedule

Classes are from Monday to Friday from 1 PM to 4:30 PM


Guest Speaker Program

Past Speakers:

  • Western Digital

  • Assistant Superintendent of SAUSD

  • Advanced Linux Sound Architecture 






Visit Business


Industry Sites

Such as:

  • Edwards Lifesciences

  • Google


Science Lectures, Writing Science Reports, and Oral Reports by Students

SAT and ACT Study Programs

UC Irvine Science Labs Program with Dr. Debra Mauzy-Melitz

Requirements for Scholar Applicants

"AISS has been the guide I needed into the open and challenging world of STEM careers and ideas."

-Omar Tena '15

  • Minimum grade point average of 3.5

  • Letters of recommendation (math & science teachers)

  • Student and parent agreement to attend up to 50 seminars a year

  • Eligible for federal free lunch program

  • Willing to commit to a 2-yr program beginning in the 11th grade

Our Goals
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