Before they even enter high school, students involved in the Future Comets program at The University of Texas at Dallas are preparing for college. The middle school students, who mostly come from underserved communities, are introduced to STEM careers, math enrichment activities and leadership development through a four-day summer camp and Saturday sessions on campus throughout the school year.
“For some, it’s an enrichment piece, and for others, it’s a new learning experience,” said Brian BeckSmith, lead teacher and curriculum developer for the program. “It allows them to be on track or excel in their math classes.”
Although the program is primarily funded through the University, a $10,000 gift from the Fluor Foundation extends the impact of the initiative.
“The Fluor Foundation’s gift will help us continue to scale up the program,” said Raul Hinojosa Jr., director of community engagement at UT Dallas. “It will help us increase the number of teachers we hire and the number of students we serve in the program.”
As longtime supporters of the University, the Fluor Foundation is invested in preparing the next generation of STEM professionals and making sure there’s a diverse workforce to contribute to the engineering industry.
“Empowering young people with skills and tools necessary to maximize their educational potential through the Future Comets program is one way in which Fluor helps transform the world and build prosperity within the North Texas area,” said Torrence Robinson, senior director, global community affairs at Fluor and president of the Fluor Foundation. “The University of Texas at Dallas continues to be an excellent higher education and community partner, and we are proud to be one of the supporters of this important initiative.”
The gift not only allows Future Comets to hire additional teachers but also to enhance the educational experience.
“The support from the Fluor Foundation helps us invest in the program and make an impact on students and their future,” Hinojosa said. “Private gifts like theirs make a huge difference in ensuring the students get the resources they need.”
Learn more about the Future Comets program.