National Urban League Applauds Project Ready STEM Act Introduction-- H.R. 4366 is a Bold Step to Help Close the Achievement Gap in Math & Science --

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STEM-related careers are the fast growing over the next decade, yet American youth--and African American youth in particular--are far behind their peers in math and science. National Urban League President Marc H. Morial applauds Rep. Fudge for her bold step to help prepare these youngsters for the jobs of tomorrow by introducing the Project Ready STEM Act, which will support community-based initiatives, like NUL's successful Project Ready program.

“There is a 30-point difference in achievement between African-American and white students in math and science. Programs like Project Ready STEM are a bold and necessary step to closing this gap and preparing our kids for success.”

The National Urban League ( today praised Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH-11) for introducing the Project Ready STEM Act (H.R. 4366), a bill that authorizes community-based programs to provide low and middle-income minority youth learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and promote college majors and careers in these fields.

The Project Ready STEM Act (H.R. 4366) replicates high-quality in-school, afterschool and summer programs for middle and high school youth operated by community-based organizations, such as Urban League affiliates, who have a long history of demonstrated commitment to improving student outcomes. Project Ready programs are up and running in 25 Urban League affiliates across 18 states, with Project Ready STEM focus in three locations, Chattanooga TN, Rochester NY and Springfield MA. STEM enhancements to existing Project Ready programs are set to launch shortly in Chicago, Wichita and New Orleans.

Project Ready, a positive youth development curriculum, was developed by the National Urban League six years ago to provide structured academic support and expanded learning opportunities that promote post-secondary success among minority youth. In 2011, the National Urban League enhanced the program approach in order to provide students with a more intentionally focused approach to STEM curricula and exposure to STEM careers. Participation in a Project Ready STEM program has led to improved student performance and positively influenced students’ decisions to enroll in science and math courses in high school and college. Numerous evaluations found that attending high-quality STEM out-of-school time programs yields STEM-specific benefits such as increased knowledge and skills, improved attitudes toward STEM careers and a higher likelihood of graduation and pursuit of a STEM career.

“Rep. Fudge is to be commended for her work to prepare today’s youth for the careers of tomorrow,” said Marc Morial, President & CEO of the National Urban League. “American youngsters-- and African American youth in particular—continue to trail their peers around the world in math and science, hindering their ability to succeed in a global economy. The Project Ready STEM Act is the right vehicle at the right time to help close this achievement gap and improve their ability to compete for the jobs of the future.”

“STEM-related careers will be the fastest-growing occupations over the next decade. Programs like Project Ready STEM will play a crucial role to ensure that our nation’s youth are ready to compete for these jobs and succeed in a 21st century workforce,“ said Rep. Fudge. “These programs will help close the achievement and opportunity gap suffered by many low and middle income students in the area of STEM education and preparedness for future success.”

Citing results from the Equality Index found in The State of Black America, National Urban League Policy Institute Executive Director Chanelle Hardy said, “There is a 30-point difference in achievement between African-American and white students in math and science. Programs like Project Ready STEM are a bold and necessary step to close this gap and prepare our children for success.”

About the National Urban League

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of direct service programs; and through the public policy research and advocacy activities of the National Urban League Policy Institute in Washington, DC.    Today, there are nearly 100 local Urban League affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.

Click here for more information about the National Urban League’s Project Ready programs or
contact Pamela Rucker Springs at or (202) 629-5757.

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Pamela Rucker Springs
National Urban League
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