Monday, June 17, 2024

Bridging the STEM Gap in Latino Youth

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related occupations are currently the second-fastest growing occupation industry in the nation, but women and minorities continue to earn a shrinking share of STEM degrees, and African Americans and Latinos remain among the most underrepresented.

Despite what the numbers show, Latino leaders have made it a priority to steer Latino students into STEM fields.

Maria Pizarro, executive vice president research and development of TriReme Medical, said she may have never risen through the ranks in her career if it wasn’t for MAES: Latinos in Science and Engineering – a national non-profit which promotes excellence in education and leadership among Latino engineers and scientists.

“We are aware of the dropout rate and that we are the fastest growing group,” said Pizarro about working with local schools. “Education as a whole is very important to us and for students to continue to focus on areas of science and engineering — especially in a world that is changing. We have to continue to have that know-how.”

While 8.6 million STEM related jobs are expected to be available in 2018, as many as three million of those jobs might be unfilled, according to the National Math and Science Initiative. It’s essential that prominent leaders in STEM fields play a crucial role in addressing disparities and ensuring that more women and minorities are represented in these fields.

NBC Latino