Students ages 12 to 18 will benefit from STEM education initiatives at Erie House and its Youth Options Unlimited (YOU) program thanks to a $10,000 contribution from AT&T.
The community-based program works alongside 100 students each year, providing them with mentoring, academic instruction, tutoring and socio-emotional support during after- and out-of-school hours. STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education is an important component of YOU’s academic focus.
“Jobs in STEM fields constitute a vast majority of current and future jobs available to graduates,” explains Expanded Learning Programs for Children and Youth director Joshua Fulcher. He adds that Latinx individuals are grossly underrepresented in STEM fields but that Erie House is aiming to do something about that disparity.
“Diverse work forces are more effective and more comprehensive in their work because they draw from a diverse set of experiences and perspectives,” says Fulcher. “The experiences and perspectives of our youth are valuable and need to be in the work force in every field.”
The AT&T contribution will help strengthen STEM initiatives at Erie House by underwriting a variety of STEM-based activities for students in the YOU program, including hands-on science activities and experiments, a recurring summer research project initiative, a multimedia apprenticeship and mathematics workshops.
“The experiences and perspectives of our youth are valuable and need to be in the work force in every field.”
– Joshua Fulcher, Director of Expanded Learning Programs
“We are proud to be partnering with AT&T to continue delivering opportunities for our students to explore career possibilities in STEM,” says Erie House executive director Kirstin Chernawsky. “Their support is helping our students lay a foundation for success, both now and far into the future.”
The program’s mentoring initiative, TEAM, has also recruited STEM professionals—architects, engineers and the like—to serve as mentors and help develop and nurture students’ interest in STEM possibilities, both in college and beyond.
This, according to Fulcher, is a critically important component.
“If our students come out of high school with a good STEM knowledge base and a passion for learning more, they can be successful in the long run,” he says.
For more information on the YOU program at Erie House, please visit www.eriehouse.org/YOU.
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