About the program

The Bay Area Youth Science (BAYS) Program is an eight-week, paid summer internship for rising high school juniors and seniors to conduct research in labs at UCSF. Research projects will range in topics from drug discovery and design, cancer biology, computational chemistry, infectious disease treatments, COVID-19 therapeutics, structural biology, protein biophysics, and much more! Interns are paid $5,000 for their participation in the eight-week summer internship.

2021 was the first year of the program, held with students at KIPP San Francisco College Preparatory (KIPP-SFCP). For the foreseeable future, our goal is to continue to build our relationship with KIPP-SFCP, therefore we will only be accepting applications from students at KIPP-SFCP. We hope to expand in future years to reach more schools in the Bay Area. Check out interviews with past BAYS students!

The BAYS Program is a new STEM immersion opportunity for historically excluded learners to conduct research at UCSF. The goal of the program is to remove barriers to accessing the academy, promote community engagement, create new recruitment pipelines, build learner confidence, and slowly break down systems of otherness that have perpetuated the lack of representation of some groups at UCSF.

Show/hide transcript

The program is called the Bay Area Youth Science program or BAYS, and the objective of this program is to welcome people that can likely see UCSF from their house that have never had the opportunity to walk in these halls.

The primary reason that BE-STEM, which is black excellence in STEM, exists at UCSF is to build a community amongst the few black students that are here within the basic science programs.

And we want to kind of extend that sense of community to the underserved students, interns, potential scientists that we’re bringing to UCSF through BAYS.

And one of the reasons we’re building on this community is to connect this base students to other similarly underrepresented students that are being brought in through other existing internships at UCSF, such as cure and SRTP.

So that they can gain knowledge from other students that have gone through similar experiences, potentially at the next level that they’re preparing to take.

So they can build off of that knowledge and be prepared for the next steps in their scientific careers.

The biggest thing with BE-STEM in the connection with BAYS is really just trying to share the community that we built here at UCSF with people who are traditionally excluded from science.

I think that it’s incredibly important to have these students at UCSF and see not only see people that look like them and these positions and let them know that they can have a future here to give them that opportunity at a starting at the high school level, I think is absolutely important.

When I got to UCSF BE-STEM provided me, the community and the group and the peers to help me see like there’s a lot of ability that I have, and that I'm a superhero in my own right.

And so I think BAYS, being a BE-STEM product is allowing us to tell younger black students that and brown students, that they too are superheroes in their own right.

And the moment that we tell them that the sooner that we tell them that we can build them, we can nurture them, we can mentor them into creating the next best scientists that anybody has ever seen from a community that they didn't even expect them to come from.

The BAYS program is an excellent opportunity for students from the Bayview Hunters Point area to get exposed to cutting edge science that they normally would not be exposed to.

There are excellent facilities, equipment and resources here that even if the students are exposed to science, it will not be this level of science.

That coupled with the mentors experience, shadowing with the students helping them through this process.

It’s a phenomenal opportunity.

What we’re looking to do with BAYS is we’re looking to bring those students to UCSF, for a lot of reasons.

One, we want to fix the nonexistent pipeline for historically excluded people to get here.

And we think that because the pipeline has languished for so long, we need to make our intervention early in high school.

And the way that we've kind of built the program is we take rising seniors into the program, they use the summer experience to obtain a high impact letter of recommendation.

And then we also have a college prep bootcamp session, where we help them leverage their experience here to be more competitive, and to open more doors for them when they’re applying to undergrad.

One thing that we really wanted to focus on this summer is making sure that once the students get here, they’re really in an environment where they can thrive.

And paramount to that for us was developing a relationship between the mentor and the students in which the students feel included.

Students feel supported and the students feel confident in their ability to make mistakes and learn and grow.

And so for us, we wanted to create this mentor orientation program to teach our mentors how to be those educators for their students.

When I think about my future and careers in scientists, it’s all about mentorship building the next group of great scientists and so this program has been sort of the first time that I've had an opportunity to do that.

And it’s been a great experience so far to just see that click of like, Oh, I get this and this is so cool.

It’s it’s just awesome. I just really wanted to be in something like this. Science is a career I actually want to get into and a program like this It provides opportunities that are not normally accessible.

This program is very unique and it is very good opportunity for undergraduates for high school students who need that experience in order to transition into college.

It’s really rewarding working with these students, I got a text from one of them the other day that they got into UC Berkeley and to UCLA.

One of our other students got into 32, actually no 42 HBCUs.

They really do get a lot out of the program and they enjoy working with their mentors and being at UCSF, and it’s great for us to work with them too, and get to see their growth throughout the program.

And we’re just really committed to the opportunity to bring people that had been excluded for no valid reason into this institution, bring that intellectual diversity in and bring that diversity of experience in and overall just increase our ability at the institutional level to do cutting edge super high impact science.

And we think that ultimately, what we’d like to see is for BAYS to continue growing and become a longitudinal investment in these individuals.

So we’d like to see the scholars come back while they’re in undergrad and continue building relationships with high impact professors here, and then eventually, we’d like to see them participate in the Summer Research Training Program, and maybe even matriculate here for graduate studies.

I fit here because I have the brains to be here.

I have everything that I need to be here.

I'm just as well to be here as anybody else.


The program has three phases:

  1. A virtual introduction to the scientific enterprise for students to attend weekly research talks by professors at UCSF, along with three panels where early career scientists with shared identities to our students can share how and why they got into science and a bit about themselves and their research.
  2. A summer internship opportunity for selected applicants to conduct research in UCSF labs. Students spend Monday through Thursday conducting research in UCSF labs under the supervision of UCSF graduate students and postdocs. Fridays will be spent taking a course taught by graduate students in research basics, life skills (financial skills, career path guidance, professionalism), college preparation, and developing their projects. The internship will culminate in a presentation of their research project that is open to all of UCSF, as well as our partner organizations and donors.
  3. College preparation sessions are for graduates of the internship to gain skills in the college application process. The college preparation period is from September to March following the internship. Interns work virtually on their college applications, scholarships, and financial aid applications and attend bi-weekly sessions with the cohort and coordinators.


Lectures January 18 to May 30, 2024
Internship application deadline March 31, 2024
Internship June 17 to August 9, 2024


  • Must be a student at KIPP-SFCP.
  • Must be at least 16 years old at the time of the internship.
  • Must have been enrolled and engaged in the virtual series of science talks (Thursdays during RISE/lunch).
  • Must have an interest in science research.
  • Must commit to dedicating 200 hours to the program (24 hours per week for eight weeks).


We are so proud of our learners!



Top row, from left: Darien Warren, Leunam Diaz, Sanaa Richmond. Middle row, from left: Deniel Giron, Yatziry Montiel, Fatima Fierro Martinez, Aaron Diaz. Bottom row, from left: Isaiah Simpson, Atzin Perez, Darrell Art Samuels.



Top row: Kenera Howard. Middle row, from left: Unique Dabbs, Lesly Ruby Silva, Stefanie Barrios Lara, Jorge Hernandez, Fabian Jimenez. Bottom row, from left: Chima Okoro, Stephany Garcia Cruz, Blaise Hamlin, Ce’Aysia Alberti.



From left: Mia Jackson, Somazea Lewis, Diego Cruz, Edith Hernandez, Araceli Ordaz Zarate, Ashley Olivares Rojas, Everett Perkins III.


From interns

  • “The entire experience was amazing, not just because it was my first time in such a program, but because my mentors were people who I could identify with and speak with in my native language. It meant a lot to me to see myself in my mentors. Knowing that there are people like me in such positions who are thriving, inspired me to work as hard as possible and maximize my experience at UCSF.”
  • “My experience in the BAYS Program has made me a stronger student and has helped me prepare myself to begin undergraduate studies.”
  • “It was a great opportunity for me because I want to be a pharmacist and I got to learn how to make treatments, which has helped me discover my passion.”
  • “Working with my mentor was a really good experience. She taught me a lot and I felt comfortable. This was my first time being in the lab and I like it. I want to do more and continue working in the lab.”

From mentors

  • “The BAYS Program was really great! My student was engaged, driven, and did a great job over the summer. I am happy to have been able to participate in the program and I think it was a great opportunity for myself and my student.”
  • “It’s a great opportunity to get them in the lab to see how cool it is to be a scientist!”
  • “My student was an incredibly quick learner, and we made a lot of scientific progress together.”




Sydney Williams

Executive Officer


Jaela Caston

Executive Officer


Luis Santiago

Executive Officer


Emma Gunderson

Admin­istra­tive and Operations Officer

Executive Council

group of 12 unnamed headshots.

Board of Advisors


Joanna Trammell

Chief Administrative Officer


Marissa Lee-Baird



Matt Jacobson, PhD



Jason Sello, PhD



Dan Lowenstein, MD



Walter Moos, PhD



Bill DeGrado, PhD



Nicquet Blake, PhD



Make a gift

We welcome contributions from internal and external groups and individuals. Contact us at [email protected] for more information about how you can support the program.

2022 cohort and coordinators
2021 cohort and coordinators