We (Nicole and Sonya) are the founders of Venture Unified.
Our story begins in 2016 during our graduate studies at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) as teaching assistants for Greg Rouse's Marine Invertebrates Lab. We spent hours together in the lab observing marine organisms and it was evident our love for inquiry based science and marine life would bond us for life.
Shortly after, we started working together for UCSD Pre-College Programs. Since 2016 we have developed and/or taught over 50 courses/workshops and developed their Marine Science, Research Scholars Program which we currently run today. Sonya continues to pursue science as a Ph.D. student at SIO. Nicole went on to get her Masters of Arts in Teaching from U.S.C. and spent a few years in Title 1 classrooms in Oahu and San Diego.
Through our many years of teaching, we continue to observe that many students lack critical thinking and college & career readiness skills. However, students thrive when learning is authentic, when critical/cultural relevancies are emphasized, where learning is applicable, and when their voices are elevated. From these observations, Venture Unified was created.
Our vision is to provide a unified yet diverse online and in-person community where students would be able to venture further in their educational pursuits by learning from and connecting with each other as well as a community of leading field experts and professionals.
At Venture Unified we have a network of experts that are passionate about serving and mentoring students. We hope that you'll join our growing community and make a lasting impact on young minds and hearts!
Equity in STEM, Critical Literacy, and College & Career Readiness
We recognize enrichment and college readiness courses are often not accessible to all students due to financial, cultural, and structural barriers.
Equity in education is deeply complex. We view equity as the pursuit and access to resources that will support educational goals independent of ethnicity, language, economic profile, gender, disability or family history, and learning capability. Current trends in STEM degrees seem unlikely to narrow these gaps and minority groups are significantly underrepresented in the work force.
Our founding team, who have held academic university positions are women of color and come from various financial, cultural, and learning backgrounds.
At Venture Unified we are dedicated to provide educational opportunities such as online courses, mentorships, and community engagement workshops to students that have been marginalized, excluded, and ignored. All these courses will be designed and taught by a leading professionals. Recent studies suggests that minority and female STEM professional, when portrayed through media and through mentorship can foster a sense of belonging and STEM identity among minority students.
To address equity at Venture Unified, a third founding member, Haydee was brought on to the team. She has over 10 years experience teaching critical literacies at the university level. Her fields of study include disability studies, feminist film theory, intersectionality, critical gender studies, and popular culture studies.