LPFI Launches SMASH Pathways Pilot Program at Morehouse College

Oakland, CA (March 8, 2016) – The Summer Math and Science Honors (SMASH) Pathways program announces today a new pilot program in partnership with Morehouse College, and has begun accepting applications for its 2016 inaugural summer. SMASH is a project of the Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI).

Morehouse College will be the fifth university to partner with LPFI, joining the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Davis. Morehouse will be the first university outside of California, and the first historically black college/university (HBCU) to host SMASH programming.

The application deadline is April 21, 2016. Students may apply here: http://www.lpfi.org/smash-pathways/application/.

SMASH Pathways is a free-of-cost, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enrichment and exposure summer program for 8th grade students from underrepresented communities prior to their transition to high school. SMASH Pathways boasts a summer STEM program that provides access to hands-on activities, field trips, mentors and role models as students explore the breadth of opportunities in STEM. Upon the completion of the program, SMASH Pathway scholars will be prepared and supported to apply to LPFI’s more rigorous signature program, SMASH Academy (http://www.lpfi.org/smash/).

US News and World Report has called the SMASH Academy “perhaps the most ambitious program to encourage African American and Latino students in STEM fields”. For over 12 years, SMASH has provided hundreds of students with access to rigorous STEM coursework and a top-level support network of mentors, professionals and peers working to close the achievement gap. The SMASH Pathways program launch on the Morehouse campus is in line with Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein’s $40 million investment pledge that includes expanding SMASH programming across the nation.

“We cannot expect children from underrepresented communities to flourish in the tech space if they are not provided the same resources and opportunities to participate as their more privileged counterparts,” said John Silvanus Wilson Jr., President of Morehouse College. “At Morehouse, we are proudly taking the necessary steps to ensure we change the status quo in tech by partnering with LPFI and offering this opportunity on our campus to the rising youth in the greater Atlanta community.”

“STEM simply cannot and will not realize its potential for innovation if it does not accurately reflect the communities it serves,” said Freada Kapor Klein, founder of Level Playing Field Institute. “We are preparing underrepresented students with untapped talent to be the change agents that will innovate, transform and impact the futures of their local communities and our nation.”

The SMASH Pathways at Morehouse application deadline is April 21, 2016. Eligibility requirements can be found here: http://www.lpfi.org/programs/pathways/

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Founded in 2001 by Freada Kapor Klein, Level Playing Field Institute (http://www.lpfi.org) is committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.

Since 1867, Morehouse College has been the only all male historically black private institution of higher learning in the United States. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Morehouse College is an academic community dedicated to teaching, scholarship, and service, and the continuing search for truth as a liberating force.