Dow’s doing it again

Company provides mentoring for five STEM transfer students

In its ongoing commitment to better the futures of Los Medanos College students, Dow Chemical Company in Pittsburg is once again partnering with the college by providing Industry Mentors for students in the STEM Transfer Program in an effort to help ease the transition and provide more information on the careers students have chosen to pursue.

“Dow is going way out of their way,” said STEM Connector and Mentor Ana Castro as she described how much the mentors from Dow, all of whom are engineers in various fields, are really helping the students learn more of the profession by networking with other engineers, going over resume plans and answering any questions the students may have. “It’s pretty great Dow has embraced our transfer students,” she added.

While all eighteen students in the transfer program must have a mentor in order to fulfill the requirements to receive a grant from the National Science Foundation to help fund the STEM Scholars Program, only five of the current students are being provided Industry Mentors from the Pittsburg site.

“She’s a really cool person,” said Adam Alemnew describing his mentor Ninoshka Cantres-Santiago, a Production Engineer at Dow that takes time in her off hours to help him “establish a basis” and get an overview of what to expect when setting out for his first interview in the career he has chosen. “She can really relate.”

As an engineering major with plans to transfer following the end of the semester, it’s this extra support that Alemnew said is “definitely helpful.”

Along with providing professional guidance, Dow has also opened its doors to the five students being mentored by their employees, and recently allowed them to shadow their mentors on the jobsite for a full day to get an eye witness account on what to expect in their future profession.

“They just can’t wait to give back to the community on their end,” said STEM Scholar Coordinator Muhummad Gheith. “We’re greatly appreciated by their support.”

In the future, Gheith hopes to continue with these same industry mentors, as well as reach out to other local companies to help gain more mentors in other industries that may provide additional help for the future students of LMC. Students that Alemnew advises to “expect to work.”

While being only the first time for STEM students having an Industry Mentor from Dow Chemical Company, Gheith showed his enthusiasm toward the a process and the outlook of a positive future in the program, continuing the partnership that has benefitted the college, students and community.

“It’s a success!” he said.