The Science Behind Successful Community Partnerships
By: Tracy Williams, Trade Winds Communitcations
Many people think science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are difficult subjects to master, but the Colorado Association of Black Engineers and Scientists (CABPES) is changing that perception, one student at a time.
CABPES is an after-school program serving African American and other underrepresented minority students. For 35 years, CABPES has exposed and encouraged over 3,500 students to consider studying STEM disciplines in post-secondary education.
The organization offers middle and high school students a variety of programs and activities that help them explore their interests in these areas.
For example, JETS (Junior Engineers, Tomorrow’s Scientists) is a 22-week program that pairs students with top professionals in the industry through interactive courses, field trips, shadowing opportunities and other hands-on learning activities.
CABPES teaches after-school STEM courses in most engineering disciplines, LEGO robotics, architecture, construction and other science and technology related subjects, experiments, labs and advanced educational projects.
“I loved being a part of CABPES,” says CABPES alum Hannah Yarbrough. “They helped me realize that I was actually really good in match and science, so I stopped fearing and resisting it.” Yarbrough is now a civil engineering major at Prairie View A&M University near Houston, TX.
In fact, 98% of CABPES students go to college with 73% studying a STEM discipline when they enter college during their freshman year. There are more than 135 students in CABPES afterschool and summer programs (Summer Math Boot Camp, JETS, the Math Enrichment Program and SAT/ACT College Preparatory Program) this year.
Their hard work is recognized each year at the CABPES Annual Awards Banquet, an event Forest City (now Brookfield Properties) proudly sponsors.
Parents, students, community leaders and industry trailblazers are honored while the students present their STEM projects and experiments to all attendees. Scholarships are also awarded to graduating seniors. This year CABPES will honor nine graduating seniors with scholarship awards.
“With the help of organizations like Forest City (now Brookfield Properties) Stapleton, we are able to provide underserved students with the tools and activities that spark and nurture their interest in the STEM areas,” says CABPES president Dewey Brigham. “We couldn’t do this without them.”
It is a partnership that aligns perfectly with Forest City (now Brookfield Properties) Stapleton’s community outreach objectives.
“Our community focus has always been to support organizations and initiatives that support youth and education, and CABPES is a perfect fit,” says Tasha Jones, Marketing Director for Forest City (now Brookfield Properties) Stapleton. “Their impact on kids and the educational paths they take is invaluable, and inspires others in this community.”
CABPES’ 35TH Annual Awards Banquet will be held Saturday, May7th at the Summit Event Center in Aurora, CO. For more information and tickets, visit www.cabpes.org.