The science of social impact: U of T startup, Pueblo Science, earns official charitable status
Science literacy startup celebrates five years with “food science” gala on March 19
From the streets of Toronto to the classrooms of the Southeast Asia, Mayrose Salvador’s startup Pueblo Science puts knowledge in the hands of those who need it most: kids.
It all began five years ago when Salvador co-founded Pueblo Science with Professor Cynthia Goh. The startup developed through the Impact Centre, one of U of T’s entrepreneurship hubs now accepting applications for its summer program. (Read more about the Impact Centre)
It’s been an amazing journey. When we first began our work in 2011, we only had a handful of members and five brave volunteers signed up to train 100 teachers in the Philippines. Now we have over 250 volunteers in Canada and overseas, and our team of 20 instructors is gearing up to train 1,000 teachers in the Philippines and Thailand this spring.
What are you most proud of in the work and projects Pueblo Science has achieved?
I am very proud of the impact we are making in children’s lives in Canada and internationally. The very positive feedback from the teachers, the laughter and enlightenment that we see in students’ faces after they attend our programs makes our members and volunteers incredibly proud to do this work.
What’s surprised you on your journey developing Pueblo Science?
I knew when we started that I would have to learn many things to direct a charitable organization. But after five years, I am still amazed at how much more work is needed behind-the-scenes, beyond delivering our programs to kids and teachers. At the same time, I am also humbled by the generosity of the many people who have helped us over the years. They are very much willing to put in expertise, hours, and resources to help us along the way – and I am so grateful to all of them for their unconditional support.
How did U of T help you in developing your startup?
The Impact Centre at U of T gave me the foundational knowledge to start Pueblo through their entrepreneurship training programs and, to this day, their staff is still essential to our existence. The Impact Centre is our main source of advice, connections and much-needed resources when needed.
What are your hopes for Pueblo Science in the next while?
We hope to build our donor base and raise sufficient funds to deliver our programs this year as we envisioned it. An important part of this fundraising effort is our upcoming gala on March 19 (http://puebloscience.org/events/gala2015). This is a program that will definitely stimulate all five senses!
In the next few years, we would like to expand our programs to other countries that need our help. For this to happen, we need to attract volunteers and directors with the right skills to help or guide us in making the organization efficient and sustainable and support us in our vision to bring that "science spark" to places that need it most.