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STEM Equity

Startup EdLyft Raises $1.4M for College STEM Mentoring

A startup launched by two women who met in high school and embarked on careers in engineering and business has received an infusion of $1.4 million to expand its program intended to help close the STEM gap. EdLyft was launched in 2019 by Erika Hairston, who formerly worked at LinkedIn and Facebook, and Arnelle Ansong, formerly a researcher and an associate consultant at Bain & Company.

The company has already supported more than 150 students in the Universities of California in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara through computer science, data science and math courses with a combination of peer mentoring, small group tutoring and access to study tools.

EdLyft charges a sliding scale between $15 and $60 a week for six hours of support. Among the students mentored, many were women or transfer students from community college.

With the new capital, which came from "venture capital funds, friends, family and angels," the co-founders plan to expand to more institutions, including the University of North Carolina and University of Michigan. Students who enroll in the service don't need to be attending one of the targeted schools.

Supporters of the program can sponsor students by purchasing EdLyft scholarships. A month scholarship is $180; a quarter is $450; and a semester is $720.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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