PHOENIX — This year marks the first graduating class of an East Valley high school with a unique college-readiness program.
The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program at Perry High School in Gilbert, Arizona, has over 400 students.
“We run about 35 percent females, when you add in the underrepresented groups we’re well over 50 percent,” Assistant Principal Joe Greene said. The program’s founder added, “I also have students that have never an honors class and we can accelerate them into the program.”
Students have counseling support throughout the four-year program, he said. They also participate in summer projects, and workshops with Valley technology, academic and biotechnology partners to help get graduates ready for the STEM industry.
Senior Averie Scholz has been in the program since it started. She said being a STEM graduate was important to her because she planned to apply to an engineering school.
“(They) are highly competitive and in order to earn scholarships you have to be an outstanding applicant,” Scholz said. “And because I have that, I would stand out among other applicants.”