Jacqueline D. Howard, affectionately known as Dr. J, was born in Ohio, raised in Indiana, and became an adult in California. She holds a Bachelor's, Masters's, and Doctorate degrees, all in Education with specializations in Family and Community Services and Religious Studies. As a first-generation college student, Dr. J has first-hand knowledge of how a college preparatory program and strong support system can provide students and families with skills, resources, and access to higher education.
Dr. J has worked in the public education system for over 33 years, primarily working with students representing low-income and first-generation populations. Her experience includes working in K-12 schools and administration and post-secondary communities and four-year colleges and universities. In 1994 she was instrumental in opening one of the first technical charter schools in San Diego, which is still educating students with great success to date. Dr. J has been involved with young people serving as a role model and mentor in every community that she has been a part of. Her unwavering dedication and "going over and beyond" attitude has resulted in students excelling in their pre-college academics, post-secondary education, advanced careers, and overall becoming productive citizens in society.
In 2017 after successfully serving for ten years as the director of a federally funded STEM Academy, the program was defunded by the federal government. In conjunction with the discontinuation of funding, Hurricane Harvey ravished through and displaced many of our students and families. The combined effects left students, that were dedicated to pursuing their post-secondary STEM degrees in dire need of support services. It is in this void that Dr. J, pulled money from her retirement and started STEM BRIDGES Houston a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization so they would still be a beacon of hope for students and families.
She constantly encourages students to “be ahead of the game”. She has accepted the responsibility to provide partnerships and resources that eliminate any excuses for students to not be successful. She believes exposure to STEM will better prepare students for their careers and futures. As a result of her efforts and dedication spanning over 30 years, she has made STEM learning and post-secondary education more accessible to thousands of students.
When Dr. J is not working with students, she enjoys spending time with her family and working in her local ministry.