Biotech Partners Recognizes Irina Silva as Exceptional Mentoring Partner

On Wednesday, May 31, Biotech Partners honored Irina Silva, Communications and Outreach Manager for the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), for her outstanding support of their internship program. Biotech Partners is a non-profit with the mission of educating underserved youth in the Bay Area with personal, academic, and professional development experiences that increase participation in higher education and access to fulfilling science careers. Last year, Silva served as a mentor partner, organizing development activities and internship opportunities for 7 students at JBEI and the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU). “We are opening the door to students who may not think of themselves as future scientists,” said Silva. “At the end of their internships, the students leave as confident individuals with solid lab and professional skills.”

(pictured, L to R: Shabir, Silva, and Johnson)

Silva, who has been involved with Biotech Partners for three years, was recognized as Exceptional Mentoring Partner. Skylar Johnson & Emara Shabir, a Berkeley High School student who interned at JBEI’s Fuels Synthesis Division last summer, presented the award at the Biotech Partners’ 5th Biennial Gala Celebration in Oakland . Since it was founded in 1993, Biotech Partners has provided this type of hands-on biotech experience for over 2500 students, and boast a 100% high school graduation rate for members of their Biotech Academy. “Many of our interns have gone on to pursue post-secondary studies, including local community colleges and UC system schools, “said Silva. “It has been very rewarding to see them mature and feel empowered to pursue their dreams.”