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The primary goal of the REACH summer program is to enhance diversity in the biomedical workforce, particularly in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders. Originating as a pilot program in 2017, we secured NIH funding in 2020 from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Currently, the REACH program accommodates 16 minority and underrepresented college and high school students, offering them the chance to engage in innovative neuroscience research, with a focus on autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Additionally, participants receive crucial training in mental health disparities, cultural competence, and community involvement. Addressing the critical need to mend the 'leaky pipeline' of underrepresented minority students in STEM, the REACH program endeavors to establish a direct connection between our summer research initiative and higher education STEM degrees (e.g., MD, PhD, MD/PhD).

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