Project Stories

Louisiana Youth Seminar, Inc. (LYS)
Barbara Jo Pease
Co-Founder, Louisiana Youth Seminar

The Louisiana Youth Seminar, Inc. (LYS) is proud to be a partner of the Bruce J. Heim Foundation.   A summer leadership camp for high school juniors and seniors,LYS is held for one week each summer, and focuses on developing leadership skills, such as goal-setting, problem-solving and sound decision-making. The Bruce J Heim Foundation sponsors students from selected New Orleans High Schools to attend LYS each summer.  LYS has impacted over 10,000 young leaders over the past four decades since it’s founding in 1971.

Hill Learning Center
Beth Anderson
Executive Director

Hill Learning Center aspires to ensure K-12 students with learning and attention challenges receive the instruction and support they need, regardless of where they attend school or whether they have a formal diagnosis. Currently Hill reaches thousands of students each year with the Hill Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP), an intervention for struggling readers, through partnerships with public schools and districts, and other education nonprofits. In 2019-20, 625 teachers delivered HillRAP to 6,500 students across 7 states, including charter and private schools in Louisiana.

HillRAP provides teachers and students with drill questions, word lists, and decodable texts, engaging students in their own individualized learning program toward reading mastery. Now, Hill is working to place many thousands more students on a trajectory to reading success by improving the HillRAP instructional platform and accompanying teacher training program.

Hill is grateful to the Heim Foundation for their vision and investment in our work to improve the HillRAP professional development program. This work will support HillRAP’s evolution to be more accessible for educators everywhere to reach students anywhere – whether instruction is in-person or remote. Thank you to the Heim Foundation for their dedication to struggling learners!

Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana (BRF)

The Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana (BRF) launched its first K-12 STEM program in 1997 with SMART (Science and Medicine Academic Research Training). The program, which has been serving students for two decades, provides a yearlong research experience with investigators at LSU Health Shreveport for 10 to 12 academically advanced high school seniors who have a career interest in medicine, biomedical research, or biomedical engineering. More than 200 students have participated in the SMART program. Participating students have high success in venues such as the Junior Humanities and Science Symposium, the Siemens Science Competition, the national and international Intel Science Fair and Talent Search, and the bioGENEius national competitions. Most SMART alumni select careers in medicine or science.

Heithoff-Brody High School Scholars Program at the Salk Institute

The flagship of our past education outreach efforts, this program gives high school students the opportunity to do hands-on experimental work in a Salk research lab, supervised by a Salk faculty member. Students work side-by-side with Salk scientists on projects involving today’s cutting edge research.

Founded more than 40 years ago, the program helps fulfill Dr. Jonas Salk’s vision of providing opportunities for local high school students to experience life in a scientific laboratory, and explore the possibility of a career in science.

Through the eight-week program, students are involved with a full-time research project as well as enrichment activities. Students learn how to formulate and test hypotheses, prepare experiments and draw conclusions from those experiments. They also learn to maintain laboratory notebooks and take part in regular lab meetings and group discussions. At the end of the program, students present their research projects to their mentors, lab members and families.

Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education
Faye Snodgress
Executive Director, Kappa Delta Pi

Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education (, launched the Develop Opportunities for Innovative Thinking (DO IT) Now program to engage youth in critical and systems thinking by challenging them to identify and address a problem within their community. Integrating STEM education and a social justice perspective, the students thereby realize the necessity of being a responsible citizen with a lifestyle that doesn’t compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

The 2018–2019 school year was the first year for the DO IT Now program, which built upon a previously successful EPA-grant funded program developed by Dr. Brian Plankis. The DO IT Now program had success at all four pilot elementary schools, with students completing projects that either helped the environment directly or served to educate their community about an issue. Projects included conducting a cafeteria waste audit and switching from plastic to metal eating utensils, creating and building a pollinator garden, improving natural habitat on school grounds, and designing and installing trail signage. We were thrilled to have 31 empowered student leaders participate and 8 program leaders trained in our first year.

We gratefully acknowledge The Bruce J. Heim Foundation’s investment in the DO IT Now program!

Students to Scholars
Jeanne Langley
Co-Founder of Students to Scholars

Students to Scholars is an innovative, entrepreneurial program that builds a bridge between The Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties in North Carolina and local independent schools to provide opportunities for promising middle school students to access the rigorous academic and culturally diverse private school environment. By connecting disadvantaged students at the BGC with affluent communities at these independent schools, Students to Scholars provides both communities with the opportunity to learn.

Jeanne Langley says, “The Bruce J. Heim Foundation’s willingness to invest in our program and sponsor a child’s education was of great financial help as well as being an important affirmation of our work. We are very fortunate to have this foundation’s generous support and encouragement as we grow and place more great children in some wonderful schools.”

Tulane University’s Girls in STEM at Tulane (GiST) Program
Michelle Hewlett Sanchez, Ph.D.
Director, Center for K-12 STEM Education, Tulane University

Tulane University’s Girls in STEM at Tulane (GiST) Program provides fifth through seventh grade girls with the opportunity to meet and work with women role models in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The Tulane Science Scholars Program (TSSP) gives high school students the opportunity to take college-credit courses in the summer in science and engineering at Tulane before high school graduation. TSSP is a selective program for rising 10th- through 12th-grade students who have exceptional talent in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

We are very pleased to have the support of The Bruce J. Heim Foundation for both initiatives.