City councilmembers and business leaders will celebrate South L.A.’s new K-12 STEM pipeline, whose mission is to help students of color succeed in the STEM fields
LOS ANGELES –STEM Preparatory Schools, which will celebrate the opening of its first elementary school Friday, announces a bold plan to help LAUSD double the number of STEM graduates of color. The award-winning schools, which now comprise one of the few K-12 STEM pipelines in Los Angeles, aim to share best practices and resources with schools throughout the community and become the hub of STEM education in South L.A. City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents South L.A., as well as representatives from Boeing and other leading STEM companies, will be on hand at the event.
“The STEM profession is fast-growing and lucrative and represents a way out of poverty for so many kids,” said Emilio Pack, founder and CEO of STEM Prep. “However, too many students of color don’t get the chance to study STEM or pursue it professionally. We’re committed to working in partnership with LAUSD to make sure South L.A.’s students thrive in STEM.”
Statistics show that just a fraction of students of color find their way into STEM careers. STEM Prep’s mission is to change that. It already graduates nearly 100 percent of its seniors, the majority of whom pre-declare STEM majors. Pack says the school is committed to ensuring that half of its students go on to STEM careers – which is roughly equivalent to the number of LAUSD students of color who go on to STEM careers.
“This is about more than education, it’s about equity; it’s about making sure kids of color gain access to financially rewarding careers,” says Pack. “The STEM profession is dominated by white men, and we’re committed to making sure that the boys and girls of South L.A. aren’t shut out of it anymore.”
With its new elementary school, which will serve 450 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, STEM Prep is now one of the city’s only K-12 STEM pipelines. By reaching students in their earliest years of school and guiding them all the way through high school, STEM Prep will ensure they are fully prepared to not only secure degrees in STEM, but to find stable and fulfilling careers in the field. Outside of the classroom, STEM Prep continues to build partnerships with leading STEM companies, providing its students with pivotal internships at organizations including Kaiser Permanente and Boeing.
Rather than create a bubble of STEM learning, STEM Prep intends to serve as a central community resource for STEM learning, providing training, curricula and programs to students, teachers and schools throughout South L.A. “Ultimately, we want students to return to the community and invest in its growth and success,” says Pack.
About STEM Prep
Founded in 2015, the STEM Prep network is one of South Los Angeles’ only K-12 pipelines for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. STEM Prep is committed to ensuring young men and women of color have access to the fast-growing STEM fields. Its elementary, middle and high school serve approximately 1,200 students, training them to master the skills of a STEM professional – problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and resilience – and equipping them with the same technology they’ll use in college and the workplace. In 2015, STEM Prep’s middle and high schools received the prestigious California Gold Ribbon Award; its high school received the 2016 Latino Business Awards’ Non-Profit of the Year Award.