MOSI’s YES! Team

The MOSI YES! Team(Youth Enriched by S.T.E.A.M. – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) program is a career and educational enrichment program designed to help at-risk youth, between the ages of 13 and 17, develop and progress in a supportive peer-group environment. Established in 1992, the focus of the program is to provide an opportunity for students to develop self-confidence, improve communication skills, build self-esteem and exhibit leadership skills. In addition, students are encouraged and motivated to pursue science both as a career and as an essential element of their total education.

Facts About the YES! Team:

  • YES! Team members come from a variety of racial/ethnic and economic backgrounds.
  • As key staff and volunteers of MOSI’s Public and Interpretive Programs department, YES! Team members are involved in all aspects of public programming which will reach more than 945,497 people this year.
  • 90% of participants have furthered their education by attending college.
  • 87% become mentors for current YES! Team members.
  • 20% currently assist with designing science curriculum as a MOSI InterActor.
  • Nearly 82% of YES! Team members pursue careers in math and science.


Success Stories

Vivian Santiago-McIlrath

Being a part of the YES! Team was more than just volunteering, it was life-changing. It encouraged and motivated me to pursue science as an essential part of my career. My mentors trained me in museum operations, public speaking and science education which enhanced my critical thinking and problem solving skills. The YES! Team provided a capacity for me to develop self-confidence, build my self-esteem and improve my communication skills. This opportunity has led to leadership positions within the museum including overseeing the program that made me who I am today.

Nestor Ortiz

My experience started with presentation training at the ripe old age of 14. This was my first experience with MOSI, where I learned how to conduct demonstrations and appreciate science. My skills and abilities to think critically,
plan programming, engage audiences and create science were tested and refined. My social, personal and professional development during my brief four-year stint was life changing. Because of the YES Team program, my life was set in motion to provide 20 years of youth development programs for thousands of young people and hundreds of organizations.

Alex Ortiz

Nestor’s twin brother, graduated from USF in 2003 with a BS with a major in microbiology and minor in chemistry. He worked at Moffitt Cancer Center as an Assistant Biological Research Scientist, then taught General Science at Webb
Middle School before going on to med school in the Dominican Republic. Alex has two young daughters, is engaged to MD Sarah (finishing her residency), lives in Ft Lauderdale, hopes to start his residency this spring 2014.