Contact: Holly Trippett, US2020 and Citizen Schools, (617) 695-2300 x1161 or (301)-452-3904, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
US2020 AND PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCE CITY COMPETITION TO SPUR INNOVATION AND GROWTH IN HIGH-QUALITY STEM MENTORING
CHICAGO, IL – June 14, 2013 – Today at CGI America, a nationwide gathering hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced that US2020, a new initiative that aims to engage one million science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals by the year 2020, will launch a city competition to increase the amount of STEM mentoring in communities nationally. New US2020 partners were also announced at the event, including Tata Consultancy Services and HP.
"We need these one million volunteers to ensure that we're going to have students take the courses" that will inspire and prepare them for STEM careers, said President Clinton.
Joining current US2020 Founding Leadership Partners Cisco, Cognizant, and SanDisk, Tata Consultancy Services and HP will collectively work towards US2020’s goal of mobilizing one million STEM professionals to mentor students by the year 2020. Through an online matching platform, US2020 will help place STEM volunteers into high impact mentoring opportunities with top nonprofits working across different grades, settings, and delivery models. As more companies join this effort, their early leadership will help catalyze a culture shift in which mentoring becomes the new normal for STEM professionals, much like pro bono work is in the legal profession.
US2020 and its corporate partners are taking strides to strengthen the STEM career pipeline for traditionally underrepresented students by connecting them to professionals in the field who will serve as mentors and teachers. These skilled volunteers will bring subjects to life and provide engaging moments of discovery to students through real-world, hands-on projects and academic coaching facilitated by nonprofits like The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF), Citizen Schools, and others. Ultimately, these students will have access to career opportunities they might never have considered and will help fill the STEM jobs of the future that will keep the country economically competitive.
To push the US2020 effort forward, the initiative and its partners launched the US2020 City Competition with President Clinton during the closing plenary of CGI America. The strategy will select and support between three to five cities that propose plans to mobilize STEM volunteers through partnerships with leading science and technology businesses. The chosen cities will be offered $1 million or more in cash and in-kind support to bring together businesses, nonprofits, city governments, and local philanthropies around a coordinated effort to spark the minds of students across their communities.
The US2020 City Competition is inspired by other successful awards and strategies, including the Obama administration's Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation (i3) competitions, X PRIZES, and the Ashoka Changemakers and Carnegie Corporation’s “Partnering for Excellence” Competition.
“We believe it is essential to offer engaging learning experiences with STEM professionals to students who need their support and the opportunity for cities to utilize their STEM workforce to educate and prepare the next generation of STEM professionals,” said Eric Schwarz, co-founder and CEO of Citizen Schools and Executive Chairman of US2020.
The demand for STEM skills in the workforce is projected to increase and outpace the number of students working towards a STEM profession. Students of all levels, particularly girls and underrepresented minorities, receive little exposure to opportunities and experiences with STEM experts. A recent study from Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program found that STEM jobs are a major economic driver across the U.S. with 20 percent of all jobs in the country requiring a “high level of knowledge” in at least one STEM field.
“To succeed on tomorrow’s world stage, students must today have a solid foundation in STEM and be fluent in the technologies that will power the global economy of the 21st Century,” said Surya Kant, President of TCS’ North America, UK and Europe operations. “TCS is proud to bring not only our technological expertise to this effort, but also the passion and commitment that our employees have in lending their talents to positively impact their communities, across the country and around the world.”
Tata Consultancy Services is a Founding Leadership Partner of US2020, providing more than $500,000 in cash and in-kind support. Tata Consultancy Services will be the lead partner in developing US2020's web-based matching technology to connect STEM mentors with high-quality volunteer placements. HP is also joining the US2020 initiative as a Founding Member. Both Tata Consultancy Services and HP are aspiring to get 20 percent of their STEM workforce mentoring students by 2020.
“HP’s aim is to enable the next generation of leaders and innovators to leverage their full potential in an IT-driven world. Our employees have been working with Citizen Schools for many years as part of our commitment to offering skills and time,” says Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President Sustainability and Social Innovation at HP.
In partnership with founding Fortune 500 companies Cisco, Cognizant, and SanDisk and founding partners AfterCollege, Citizen Schools, CodeNow, HotChalk, National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, and TEALS, US2020 has pledged to work over the next few years to recruit hundreds of additional education non-profits and school districts that will commit to high standards in STEM mentoring, common and transparent metrics, and efforts to scale high-quality placement for STEM mentors in both school day and extended day, extended week, and extended year settings.
US2020 is a new organization formed through a partnership of leading education non-profits and corporate leaders in the STEM field. The initiative emerged from a White House call to generate big, innovative solutions to our STEM education challenge, with a focus on increasing access to STEM careers for girls, underrepresented minorities in the sciences, and low-income children. US2020 will be incubated within Citizen Schools, a leading education non-profit and will become a standalone non-profit entity in 2014. US2020 relies on a committed and growing community of public, private, non-profit and individual partners.
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