SOARS is dedicated to increasing the number of African American, American Indian, and Chicano/Hispanic/Latino students enrolled in graduate degree programs in the atmospheric and related sciences in order to increase ethnic diversity within the scientific community of the future. SOARS identifies, recruits, and provides students attending colleges/universities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico with multi-summer research experiences, year-round guidance, counseling, and mentoring, and up to two years of graduate school support.
Since its 1996 inception, 62 students (protégés) have participated in SOARS. Forty-two are current participants, nine are alumni and 11 have left the program. To date, 38 have completed bachelor's degrees in a science field, 17 are enrolled in atmospheric or related science graduate programs, three are AMS graduate fellows, nine have completed master's degree programs, and three are Ph.D. candidates. No protégé has left college/university without completing an undergraduate degree in science, mathematics or engineering. Six SOARS alumni are in the scientific workforce; three are enrolled in Ph.D. programs. This fall SOARS was recognized as a recipient of the 2001 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.