Squared Fellows

Your Roadmap to a Career in STEM

What’s the Squared Fellows Program?

A 10-15 week, rotation-based, mentorship program for underrepresented 10th-12th grade high school students in San Diego County who are interested in STEM. In this immersive program, you’ll connect with a network of advocates and have front-row access to some of San Diego’s most innovative companies – all dedicated to empowering tomorrow’s STEM leaders today. Let us help you design your unique roadmap to get to where you want to go.


As a Squared Fellow You’ll Get:

•  Tours at 5 innovative San Diego companies
•  A mentor assigned to you for an entire year
•  A cohort of other students to build your network

•  Countless reasons why you belong in STEM

•  A swag bag loaded with technology, SD2 merch and other perks!

happy STEM students going out


Are You?

•  An underrepresented high school student?

•  10th-12th grader in a San Diego County high school?

•  Available after school once a week and on Saturdays for 10-15 weeks?

•  Available for monthly mentor sessions for a year?


If you’re curious about a career in STEM and answered “yes” to the questions above, this program is for you. Check back soon for the Spring 2023 application!

smiling STEM student listening to music


•  Apply online. If needed, email us at team@sd2.org for a printable application form.

•  To complete your application, you’ll need to answer a few questions that help us get to know you better.




student using a laptop


San Diego Squared™ mentors represent a diverse group of committed STEM professionals ready to share their time and talent with you!

Marc Barron - Co-Founder & VP of Partnerships CourseKey

Co-Founder & VP of Partnerships

Madi Highsmith - SD2 Program Director

SD2 Program Director

Idalia Zamora - Supervisor, Customer Technical Support Tandem Diabetes Care

Supervisor, Customer Technical Support
Tandem Diabetes Care

Daniel Altenburg - Co-Founder Zipdev


Melisa Zárate Ubario - Relationship Manager, Tech Banking Silicon Valley Bank

Relationship Manager, Tech Banking
Silicon Valley Bank

Senior Translational Scientist I
Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Diversity Recruiter and Educator
Personalis, Inc.

Business Development and Marketing
AllTech Systems

Metacrine, Inc

Executive Director
The LEAGUE of Amazing Programmers

Assistant Director of Outreach & Recruitment
University of San Diego

Director of Data Strategy
The Atlas for Cities

Manager of Business Development

Life science & Biotech Director
Institute of the Americas

Chief Executive Officer
Diversity By Design

Graduate Student
San Diego State University

Frequently Asked Questions

We’re here to answer your questions! Don’t see the information you’re looking for below? Reach out to the San Diego Squared team directly at team@sd2.org.

What are the dates of the program?

Two Squared Fellows programs, a fall and a spring cohort, take place each year. Squared Fellows mentoring will continue for 1 year after the graduation ceremony, with mentoring sessions every month for 1 hour a month. Dates for specific activities will be sent to Fellows as they are scheduled.

What’s the time commitment?

Squared Fellows will meet for a semester (10 – 15 weeks), spending an average of 10 hours each week in immersive learning experiences. Attendance and full participation each week are mandatory for all Fellows.

Each week will include:
– 1 site visit prep session
– 1 STEM site visit
– 1 dinner and debrief
– 1 hour self-directed work

How much does it cost?

Upon acceptance, a Squared Fellows participation is fully funded. Program value is estimated to be $2000/student. In addition to program funding, Fellows will also receive a laptop, a stipend, and other perks!

What’s the minimum GPA to apply?

Applicants to the Squared Fellows Program should have a minimum GPA of 3.0. If you are a strong candidate with a GPA that falls below this, a letter of explanation can be submitted with your application.

Who can write my STEM Educator letter of recommendation?

This letter should be written by a teacher from a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math related class (500 words max).

When is the application deadline and when will I find out if I am accepted?

Applications for our Spring 2023 cohort have yet to open. We will update information here once we have opened the Spring 2023 application.

How many students are accepted in each cohort?

Cohorts of the Squared Fellows Program will include 10-20 STEM enthusiastic and STEM interested students from San Diego County.

Can I apply again if I don’t get in the first time?

If you’re not accepted into the fall cohort, you’re still eligible to apply for the spring cohort of the same school year. Those who are not accepted into the spring cohort and become seniors in the fall are not eligible to apply again as the Squared Fellows Program is for 10th-12th graders.

Do I have to have great math and science grades?

All STEM enthusiastic (and STEM interested) students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher can apply for the Squared Fellows Program. You don’t have to have perfect grades, but you do need to have a sincere interest in STEM! Those interested in applying who fall under a 3.0 GPA can submit a letter of explanation with their application.

What if I don’t know if I want a career in STEM?

It’s hard to know exactly what you want to do when you grow up. The Squared Fellows Program is for STEM enthusiastic and STEM interested students who want to get a better understanding of what a career in STEM could look like. If this sounds like you, we think you should apply!

Is this an in-person program or virtual?

The Squared Fellows program will be a mix of virtual and on-site sessions. An exciting part of the program is the rotational STEM site visits, during which all State mandated COVID-19 precautions will be observed. Transportation will be available to all Squared Fellows.

What COVID-19 precautions are being taken?

The SD2 Team will be observing all State mandated COVID-19 precautions in order to keep students, parents, mentors, staff, and industry partners safe. Up-to-date COVID-19 guidelines will be provided prior to every on-site or in person session.

Where are the on-site sessions located?

Rotational site visits will occur at a variety of STEM companies located throughout San Diego County. Exact locations will be provided during program orientation along with transportation details.

What if I don’t have transportation?

Transportation to and from all in-person sessions will be available to Squared Fellows that need it.

How do you select the Squared Mentors for the program?

From executives to mid-level professionals, SD2 Mentors all come from diverse backgrounds and are working in a STEM-related field. They are background checked, trained, and excited to give their time and talent to help build your career in STEM!