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Mentor Allentown Coalition Manager Kate Popejoy, Ph.D., visited Washington, D.C., recently to attend the 2015 National Mentoring Summit and to help raise awareness of the Coalition’s work on Capitol Hill.
Popejoy – one of 400 summit attendees who visited Congressional offices – met with staff members of Representatives and Senators from Pennsylvania. After seven appointments, she had logged more than 21,000 walked steps – more than ten miles – on her fitness tracker.
Popejoy and colleagues stressed the importance of mentoring and quality-mentoring for youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects; discussed legislative issues related to mentoring and mentor funding; and a statewide effort to support criminal background checks for volunteers working with children.
Popejoy also shared her first-hand accounts of ways in which the Mentor Allentown Coalition is bringing STEM mentoring to underrepresented student groups to life in Pennsylvania’s third largest city.
Spearheaded by the Da Vinci Science Center, the Mentor Allentown Coalition is working to increase interest in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – among low-income students, students from minority populations, and female students, thereby encouraging them to pursue STEM careers and family-sustaining jobs. The Coalition is one of ten groups leading a national movement to change the way that students are mentored toward STEM careers with funding and support from US2020, a subsidiary of the national Citizen Schools organization.
The Da Vinci Science Center announced in Feb. 2015 that a special grant from the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation will allow the Coalition to expand its work outside of the city Allentown.