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Detroit nonprofit introduces underrepresented children to STEM careers

Sunday is National STEM Day

DETROIT – The Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) has spent more that 40 years introducing children to STEM careers.

While the fall session just wrapped up, it’s not too late to enroll you child in the virtual spring program.

Nonprofit DAPCEP helps about 11,000 underrepresented students across southeast Michigan each year discover careers in STEM.

Scott Richardson is a simulation engineer in the computer industry. When he was 12, his parents enrolled him in DAPCEP and he began taking the nonprofit’s engineering classes on campus at UM.

“I eventually applied to the university and the same administrators that had been instrumental in developing academic some room for me to connect with,” Richardson said.

DAPCEP Executive Director Michelle Reaves said scholarships are available to help open doors and break down barriers for people of color in STEM.

“If there’s not a diverse population, you’re underrepresented in those fields and sometimes it’s hard for students to see themselves in those type of careers because that’s not what you see,” Reaves said.

“DAPCEP was a place where I found that certainty to achieve this career,” Richardson said.

And during a global pandemic, technology is more important than ever.

“How they play a computer game, or how they’re taking classes right now, or we need a cure for this, for vaccine for the COVID disease,” Reaves said. “They see how it definitely plays a part in your future. It’s just now getting them prepared.”

For more information, or to register, visit the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program’s official website here.


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