(from left to right: Commander, Youth and Community Programs Task Force, Brigadier General (CA) James L. Gabrielli; Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva; Youth and Community Programs Task Force Director of Starbase, Los Alamitos, Stacey Hendrickson; and Sandra Sainz, Senior Enlisted NCOIC)
SACRAMENTO – In further efforts to bring California tax dollars to Orange County, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Orange County) has secured a total of $1.7 million in funding for a critical Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education program to expand the STARBASE youth program at the Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos Department. While the federal government pays for all operating costs associated with STARBASE, the Department of Defense looked to Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva and the State of California to help provide classrooms for the program.
STARBASE, Los Alamitos, serves schools from 5 counties in California; Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego. Although it is anticipated that STARBASE Los Alamitos will host 3000 students, from 105 fifth grade classes in the 2017-18 school year, there is a waiting list of 46 classes that cannot be accommodated. The budget augmentation in this request will allow for the construction of a new 3,500 square foot building at the National Guard Base at Los Alamitos which will include two STARBASE classrooms that will allow an additional 2,000 students to attend the program each year, eliminating the waiting list for potential students.
“As a teacher of over 20 years, I am very familiar with the importance of investing in the future of our children, through education. Investing in STEM education is, and will continue to be, an imperative focus of our State” said Quirk-Silva. Investing in an education that is focused on these subjects is investing in the future of these inspired boys and girls, AND the workforce and economy of this nation.”