Young Engineers and Scientists (YES) has been a community partnership between local high schools in San Antonio, Texas (USA), and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) for the past 18 years. The goals of YES are to increase the number of high school students, especially those from underrepresented groups, seeking STEM careers, to enhance their success in entering the college of their choice, and to promote teacher development in STEM fields. This is accomplished by allowing students and teachers to interact on a continuing basis with role models at SwRI in real-world STEM research experiences. YES consists of an intensive three-week summer workshop held at SwRI where students and teachers experience the research environment and a collegial mentorship where they complete individual research projects under the guidance of SwRI mentors during the academic year. STEM teachers develop space-related lessons for classroom presentation and participate in an in-service workshop to share their developed classroom materials and spread awareness of space-related research. Partnerships between research institutes, local high schools, and community foundations can positively affect students’ preparation for STEM careers via real-world research experiences. We acknowledge support from NASA, Texas Space Grant Consortium, SwRI, and local charitable foundations.