Thursday, July 19, 2012

Catching Up with BlackGivesBack Contributor Tokiwa Smith, Founder of SEM Link, Inc.

Tokiwa Smith (far right), founder of SEM Link, Inc., served as an exhibitor at the U.S. Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. Pictured with Tokiwa are (L to R) Marilyn Smith, microbiologist, FDA; Kahli Smith, graduate student at Howard University in pharmacology; and Angela M. Hardin, epidemiology fellow, FDA.

Our contributors have been busy in their communities working as social entrepreneurs, hitting the books as graduate students, and one wrote a book on African American philanthropy. Tokiwa Smith, our San Francisco contributor, is the founder of Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link, Inc. (SEM Link), an organization that enhances the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) educational experience for thousands of K-12 students. This is accomplished by providing opportunities for students to engage in hands-on STEM activities, explore STEM careers and learn about real-world applications of STEM.

In April, SEM Link served as an exhibitor and presenter at the U.S. Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC, the nation's largest celebration of science and engineering. Tokiwa's exhibit, “Linking Science to Everyday Materials,” engaged attendees in cool science experiments using everyday materials from grocery and discount stores.

SEM Link was also selected as a grant partner of the Mitchell Kapor Foundation to help provide resources and support to young African American college-bound males throughout the Bay Area.

Looking forward to the upcoming 2012-13 program year, SEM Link will partner with the California Alliance of African American Educators Carver Scholars Program to provide STEM support to an afterschool program in the San Francisco Unified School District, and will host the 2nd annual STEMposium collaborative with Youth Speaks and The I.S.I.S. Project in Oakland, California.

The organization is currently seeking a diverse group of professionals (mid-level career to retiree) to serve on its Board of Directors, and has launched a “Donate Your Lunch Money” individual donor campaign with a goal of raising $45,000 for SEM Link's programs.

Learn more about SEM Link by visiting and read Tokiwa's interview with Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation here.

Photo credit: Stacey Trammel/Buzzology

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