Education is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty. A good education helps young people think critically about their world so they can make positive choices and opens the door to better employment options. In recent years a growing number of jobs are in STEM fields, an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering and math, and this trend is expected to continue. According to the Bureau of Labor, not only is the number of STEM jobs increasing faster than the number of jobs in other fields, but workers in STEM fields earn around 26% more than other workers. Yet low-income, at-risk kids often end up less qualified for these positions and therefore miss out on great opportunities.
A review of recent research suggests that schools with a high percentage of low-income students are less equipped with the resources needed to prepare students for careers in STEM fields. But there is good news, too. When low-income students are given better learning opportunities, research shows they can attain a level of science learning that is on par with their peers at better resourced schools. Students and researchers agree that one of the best ways to provide that opportunity is to get kids engaged in learning science through hands on activities. Kids are naturally attracted to science, but need to actively participate in order to learn at a high level.
Our current Cultivating Hope campaign wants to provide just this kind of opportunity to the low-income students at Our Lady of Guadalupe School (OLGS) in South Chicago. We are seeking to purchase new microscopes for the middle-school science students at OLGS so they have the hands-on tools they need to learn science in an engaging setting. According to a science teacher at the school, “It is a door to opportunity for them that might help them escape a life of poverty.”
We need your help to put these young people on that path, and time is running out on our campaign. Please donate today!