YAKIMA, WA - The 2019 Avid STEM Academy is hosting more than 200 students from all over Washington this summer.

"We wanna work with these different communities to work with students in these areas who wouldn't normally have that experience, and see what's unique about each community; what can we do to partner with them, what can we learn and as we expand try to reach more students and support more educators in this work," said Douglas Ferguson, AVID Senior Learning Designer.

Elementary kids are learning robotics and high school students are learning leadership skills as mentors.

Ferguson said, "They are someone whom the students in grades through 3 look up to and we're not just just reaching the younger students, we're empowering these high school mentors and reaching them through giving them the ability to be leaders and it's another step in that journey towards college and career readiness."

One high school mentor said this experience has already helped him with his decision to become a teacher.

"Getting a lot of hands-on experience with the kids just really solidified that and told me this is where I want to be, this is what I want to do with my future is work with these kids," said Jackson Jameson, STEM High School Mentor.

Students in the program were able to receive a scholarship to participate in the program.

"At the end of the day what we're trying to do is provide opportunities for all students to experience STEM in a positive way that builds their self confidence," said Ferguson.

The program is headed to Wapato next week.

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