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For Immediate Release
July 14, 2014

MVC Receives United Way Of The Inland Valleys Grant
For STEM "U" Late Your Mind


RCCD Foundation    United Way


The Riverside Community College District Foundation has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the United Way of the Inland Valleys (UWIV) to support Moreno Valley College's STEM "U" Late Your Mind program. The grant will assist the Upward Bound Math and Science department increase the number of participants in its STEM "U" Late Your Mind Saturday Academy classes.

The Saturday Academy introduces middle and high school students to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, providing hands-on, out-of-class learning opportunities to build scientific inquiry skills. Micki Clowney, director of Upward Bound Math and Science, says she expects to increase enrollment by at least 20 students per academ--a 30 percent increase over previous academies.

The UWIV raises money to support education, health and other critical needs in communities from Cabazon to Lake Elsinore. Founded in 1931, UWIV funds 36 local agencies and 53 programs. The majority of donations come from companies and employees through payroll giving, and from committed community members who make leadership gifts.

"The United Way support will help connect students with professionals from STEM fields," Clowney said. "It's our hope the Academy will encourage students from low income, first generation, and other underserved backgrounds to pursue postsecondary degrees in math and science, and ultimately careers in STEM health fields."

STEM field careers are the fastest hiring market in the United States, with STEM occupations expected to contribute 8.6 million jobs by 2018. However, the greatest challenge is students aren't aware of the opportunities available, Clowney said.

"Not only will this funding help increase the number of students we serve, it will allow us to increase the number of parents we can mentor, helping them understand the career opportunities in STEM fields and how they can support their child's postsecondary education."

The grant will also fund two community educational outreach events: a STEM Day that will feature hands-on stations from STEM organizations and educational programs, and a POSITIVE Conference (Promoting Opportunities in Science and Inspiring Teens to "In" Vision Excellence) that will provide information on health-related careers, resources, and issues facing the community. Dates have yet to be announced for those events.