Family Engagement Community of Practice with Bunmi Esho and Linda Kekelis

Opportunity is closed.

About Linda Kekelis and Bunmi Esho

Dr. Linda Kekelis is an advisor for STEM Next Opportunity Fund with a lifelong passion for ensuring that all youth, particularly girls and underrepresented youth, have access to opportunities in STEM. As the Founder and former CEO of Techbridge Girls, she made family engagement one of the vital elements of the program and throughout her tenure committed resources to measure impact and better understand how to serve the needs of families. Linda advises STEM organizations on empowering families and shares research and resources with them. Linda has a master’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Southern California and a doctorate in Special Education from the University of California, Berkeley.

Bunmi Esho was raised in the United States and Nigeria before graduating with a degree in engineering. As a child, she developed a passion for community and education, eventually leading her to a career in educational nonprofits. Bunmi currently leads outreach initiatives for Endless OS Foundation. She believes in the critical intersection between community, education and STEM, and volunteers with Full Circle Fund, RightOn! Education, Christensen Institute Social Capital R&D Project and the Steering Committee for National Academy of Engineering’s EngineerGirl. She loves road trips and has traveled cross-country through the US and abroad.

Description of the Opportunity

STEM Next is offering the Networks support through sharing of promising practices, lessons learned, and resources for supporting families in STEM from out-of-school-time programs in various settings. Professional development options are intended to be research-informed and practical for immediate implementation.


  1.  Learn about research and promising practices for impactful family and community engagement in STEM
  2. Explore strategies to lead with equity and help parents access resources to support their child in STEM
  3. Design family engagement within partnerships across Networks to address opportunities and challenges
  4. Share learnings and new strategies for family engagement tried over the summer and planned for the coming school year as we return to in-person programs and consider hybrid models of engagement
  5. Participants will develop a work plan using the STEM Family Engagement Planning Tool with partners to foster more equitable and inclusive family and community engagement.

Participants Commit To:

  1. Community of Practice Sessions – Attend 6, 75 minute sessions where participants will review research and promising practices for family engagement and develop an action plan to implement in their context.
  2. Pre-Session Work – Complete light pre-work (i.e. reading articles, watch videos, and write reflections) that will take no longer than 30 minutes.
  3. Coaching Sessions – Participate in at least one, 1 hour coaching session with a focus on developing deeper family engagement across Network partners with equity and access as priorities.
  4. Reunion – Participate in a virtual reunion in fall 2022, after the community of practice concludes, to share progress in meeting their goals for family and community engagement.

Participating Network Teams:

Maximum of 30 participants total will be selected to participate; One participant must be from the Afterschool State Network and additional participants should have leadership within their organization to extend the training and resources from this community of practice across other partners.


1. Minimum of 2 people per Afterschool State Network. A team can consist of: Afterschool State Networks Lead or STEM/Moonshot staff AND key Moonshot partners and/or program providers.

2. Open to all Aftershool State Networks (Readyfor Lift Off, Capacity Bulders, and Innovators)


  • July 12 – August 13: Recruitment period.
  • August 30: Participants notified of participation.
  • October – February: Participants attend six, 75-minute sessions, complete 30 minutes of pre-work before each session, participate in a 60 minute coaching call, and complete culminating survey.
  • Fall 2022: Attend a one hour virtual reunion.

Learn more about the opportunity here.

Closed Opportunities

Description of the Opportunity

Participating Network Teams: Maximum 24 participants (minimum two people from each Network)

Community of Practice Sessions – Attend 5, 1 hour community of practice sessions to review research and promising practices for family engagement and develop and action plan for their Network. (Note: A ‘Network Team’ consists of at least two people from a State: one Network staff member and a partner or program provider).

Training – Recruit at least two family members to participate in a virtual, two-part Technovation training that helps parents/guardians and families support their children in engineering and STEM at home.

Coaching – Participate in 1, one-hour coaching call (or a limited series of check-ins) with Linda Kekelis to further develop deeper family engagement across Network partners with equity and access as priorities.

Commitment from Network

1. State Networks will identify a ‘Network Team’ consisting of at least two people to participate in the Community of Practice over five months

2. Network teams recruit at least two family members to participate in a two-part Technovation training for families

3. Network teams complete a brief survey and evaluation activities at the conclusion of the Community of Practice

4. Network Teams liaise with Sabrina Gomez to ensure all aspects of the Booster Pack are met


1.Open to all State Networks

2. State Network and participating programs commitment to fully participate in all aspects of the Booster Pack


January 2021 – Networks Lead apply with Network team in mind; Networks notified by January 22nd.

February – May 2021 – Network team attend five Community of Practice sessions; Receives individual coaching with Linda Kekelis

February – March 2021 – Family Engagement Trainings with Technovation (one, 60 minute training, per month)

May-June 2021 – Evaluation and assessment activities