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SARSEF CEO Julie Euber Selected as Board President for Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence (AzCASE)

AzCASE Executive Director Courtney Sullivan, Past AzCASE Board President Eva Harlow, and Julie Euber at the 50 State Afterschool Network Meeting in Washington D.C.

Tucson, AZ

May 15, 2024

AzCASE (Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence) has announced that Julie Euber, CEO of the Tucson-based nonprofit SARSEF, has been elected as President of the AzCASE Board of Directors.

AzCASE’s mission is to advocate for accessible, high-quality expanded learning opportunities for all Arizona children and youth statewide. As a leading voice in the out-of-school time community, AzCASE focuses on professional development, advocacy, and capacity building to ensure that every child in Arizona has access to enriching experiences beyond the traditional classroom setting.

As SARSEF CEO, Julie builds and supports a community of staff, board members, partners, and supporters to strategically bring SARSEF closer to its mission of creating Arizona’s next generation of critical thinkers and problem solvers through science and engineering. Previously, Julie served as TGen’s Manager of Education and Outreach where she increased the community’s working knowledge of genomics and educated, trained, and inspired the next generation of researchers and physicians. Since joining the board in 2020, Julie has been a resource on what quality engagement with science, technology, engineering, and math can look like in out-of-school-time spaces.

“Without the out-of-school-time programs I grew up with, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. That’s where I developed leadership skills and a comfort level with science,” Julie shared. “Getting to know AzCASE during my time on the board, I’ve been honored to see how their work provides opportunities for programs to not only grow to meet the significant need for afterschool enrichment but also to refine and celebrate the quality of their programming.”

For more information about AzCASE and its initiatives, please visit https://azafterschool.org/.

STEM Family Engagement: Growing and Learning Together

By Amber Folkman and Julie Euber

For over five years, SARSEF has hosted Parent Nights at schools called Roadmap to a Rockin’ Project, an evening of exploring what interests students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and how parents can support them in their pursuits. The evening events culminate in both the students and the parents feeling ready for the science fair. As SARSEF expands and broadens its reach, family engagement has remained a key aspect of our work.

This year, SARSEF was one of 10 out-of-school-time organizations selected nationwide to partner on the Institute for the Study of Resilience in Youth (ISRY) Family Engagement and Empowerment Project. The common goal between partners, who are from 9 states and all four U.S. regions, is to learn and grow their family engagement strategies in STEM.

Science education doesn’t end at the school doors. Curiosity is a mindset children naturally possess that can be encouraged across all environments. Parents and other caregivers play an integral role in shaping children’s STEM journeys, and their expertise in what fascinates their children and how they learn is invaluable. Research has shown that how a child perceives their own math abilities is more related to their parents’ perception of the child’s math abilities than the child’s actual achievements in math. Family Engagement Nights give parents the opportunity to encourage and recognize their children’s abilities and to help build their positive associations to STEM fields.

As SARSEF creates more opportunities for STEM family engagement, we will be using ISRY’s CARE framework (Figure 1). This framework encourages programs to connect, act, reflect, and empower for a holistic, thoughtful approach to supporting families from all backgrounds.

Figure 1: The CARE Framework: Caring about Family Engagement in STEM This family engagement planning tool promotes effective and equitable family engagement in STEM (Read more in ISRY’s guide to the tool here).

At the end of the study, SARSEF will have a STEM family engagement plan informed by national research and feedback from local families. Additional insights and opportunities to get involved will be shared here on our blog.

If you are interested in learning more or helping us shape our STEM family engagement plan, reach out to SARSEF’s Director of School Engagement, Amber Folkman at amber@sarsef.org.