Each new school year is an opportunity to congratulate our children and young adults on their successes, as they scale the academic ladder to high school and college, or begin internships and careers.
This season, we continue to guide many of our students forward, introducing them to music through our increasingly popular GRIOT musical program, helping them land internships, and shepherding those engaged with our Learning to Work program toward graduation.
At the Mission Society, we strongly believe that it takes a community of support to lead our program participants to success in school and in life. We see this every day in their excitement when they tackle a problem, or discover a heretofore unattainable opportunity.
If there’s one wish I have for all our students this academic year, it’s that they realize that the only barriers to their success is the limits of their imagination. When they dream big, they work harder, and we stand by their side all the way—year-round.
I thank you for visiting our new website, which showcases success stories and highlights how the Mission Society continues to impact so many lives. We just launched the site this week! It illustrates the opportunities we are providing for our students to learn new skills, and discover new opportunities.
That’s why this summer, the 1,000 students who were enrolled in our Power Academy program enjoyed a six-week summer of STEM through our “Through the Magnifying Glass” initiative. We wanted our students to have fun while learning as they explored science, technology, engineering and math.
And these were real world lessons, too: as they discovered each new area of study, they traveled to visit zoos, the Skyscraper Museum, botanical gardens and urban farms, and they engaged in hands-on ecology and botany lessons by building habitats and planting seeds.
Experts predict that science and engineering occupations will grow by 26% from 2010-2020, twice as fast as the overall job market during that period. Yet, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, while Black and Hispanics account for 11% and 14% of the overall U.S. employment, they comprise only 6% of STEM workers.
So, throughout the year, we’re challenging the status quo by equipping the students we serve with the right set of skills—critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving—to be competitive in the growing STEM fields.
As I mentioned, it takes a community of support, and that is where you can lend a heart and a hand. This season will be ripe with opportunities for you to discover more about the life-changing difference the Mission Society continues to make after two centuries.
I encourage you to explore our website’s calendar of events, which I consider a calendar of opportunities: opportunities for you to be a part of this change. You, too, can send a powerful message to our children and young adults that we want them to thrive, to succeed, and to see their dreams come true.
On behalf of our dedicated staff, and the children and young adults we serve, I thank you for joining us on this journey.