WASHINGTON, DC – July 26, 2017 – Building STEPS, a Baltimore-based nonprofit that helps minority and underprivileged high school students pursue careers in the fields of science and technology, was featured by The Baltimore Sun in an article published on July 21, 2017.
The article highlights the organization’s college access program, which “recruits high school juniors from 10 underserved Baltimore schools who show promise in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM fields.” Once part of the program, the students participate in various activities that are designed to help them reach their goals that may otherwise not be possible. These activities include organized field trips, assisting with the grueling college application process, and even helping the students land paid summer internships at world renowned places such as the National Aquarium and Johns Hopkins.
Building STEPS was founded by Matthew Weinberg as an internship program in 1995. Mr. Weinberg is the CEO of The Weinberg Group Inc., an FDA consultancy that helps pharmaceutical companies with all FDA and regulatory-related matters, and he originally started the organization in Washington, DC, as that is where his company is located. However, in order to achieve his goal of helping minority high school students become science and technology professionals, Mr. Weinberg relocated the organization to Baltimore in 2000.
In its early years, Building STEPS had no more than 20 students in its cohorts. Today, the organization serves more than 130 Baltimore city public high school juniors and seniors, as well as 250 college students and alumni each year.
Despite the extreme growth that the organization has experienced over the years, Building STEPS remains true to the values and goals that have been in place since day one. Because of Building STEPS’ commitment to its original mission, more than 80% of the organization’s participants are able to attend and graduate from college. Furthermore, of these students who graduate, more two-thirds of them earn a degree in a STEM or health care-related field.
Building STEPS was started with the goal of increasing minority participation in the fields of science and technology, which has been notoriously dominated by white males for quite some time. Furthermore, there is an increasing need for qualified workers. As stated in the Baltimore Sun’s article, “between 2009 and 2015, the number of STEM jobs grew by more than 10 percent, compared to about 5 percent growth of non-STEM occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” Building STEPS is helping to provide these qualified workers that are in such high-demand, which also helping to level the playing field for minorities in these fields at the same time.
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