Executives from Morgan State University and the Verizon Wireless Foundation announced a new partnership Tuesday in Baltimore aimed at exposing minority males to STEM via HBCU campuses.
The Minority Male Makers Program—which will be housed on the campuses of Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Jackson State University and Kentucky State University—pulls rising Black and brown seventh- and eighth-grade students from the communities surrounding the campuses into an immersive STEM training program on campus.
To Rose Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation, an HBCU partnership made sense.
“We knew that we wanted a relationship with historically Black colleges and universities because it’s important that these kids are in an environment where they can see themselves and they can see success and they can see potential, and historically Black colleges and universities bring that and some,” said Kirk. “Not that you couldn’t see the same thing at a college that didn’t particularly serve this segment, but I think there’s something to be said when you are working alongside of other kids and coaches and mentors who look a lot like you. It gives you that sense of confidence, it gives you that sense of purpose, it helps you to understand what your full potential could be, so that’s why we chose [these schools].”
“These institutions, these HBCUs, we are [roughly] 100 in number, but there are only 14 engineering schools,” said Dr. David A. Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “And those 14 engineering schools are a small fraction of the 400 engineering schools in the country [and] are producing one-third of African-American engineering graduates.”
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