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Community Involvement, Professional Development & Materials - Monday, September 29, 2014

As a nonprofit in service of educators, we know that schools and education organizations have been tasked to do more with less funding. Closing buildings, cutting staff and eliminating programs are the harsh realities they are facing.

So when it came to celebrating ASSET STEM Education’s 20th Anniversary, we originally envisioned a gala dinner and planned to use a portion of the proceeds to support a new STEM Scholarship Program to help educators and students in underfunded schools.

Remaining true to our mission — advancing teaching and learning for all students — is core to ASSET’s sustainability, and we quickly realized that a more fitting celebration would be an “undinner.” This way, funds raised are utilized through the STEM Scholarship Program to support the schools and education organizations that need our help the most.

As the first-round scholarship applications came in, the true story of the overwhelming need for support started to unfold. Of the 21 first-round scholarships that have been awarded:

  • All scholarship recipients have more than 40% of students on free or reduced lunch
  • Approximately two-thirds of recipients have more than 85% of students on free or reduced lunch
  • Approximately two-thirds of recipients have more than 60% minority students

We have already opened a second round of applications based on this need for support. In turn, additional funding is needed to help us provide as many scholarships as possible.

So, I am reaching out to ask you to consider helping us “pay it forward” by donating to the STEM Scholarship Program. Your support will help us impact students who may not otherwise be exposed to high-quality STEM education programs. But don’t take our word for it — Alexis Howard, Director of Teen Services at the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, discusses the benefits of their scholarship in the short video below.

Together, we have the opportunity to make a real - and immediate - difference in STEM education for all students.