By Meleah Maynard, Photograph by Sara Rubinstein
University of Minnesota student Leah Soykan works with a student at Ramsey Middle School in Minneapolis
Minneapolis has one of the highest achievement gaps in the nation, and some students at the University of Minnesota decided to do something about it. Under the leadership of the University Honors Students Association (UHSA), students at Ramsey Middle School in Minneapolis began pairing up with exceptional University undergraduates last month as part of a new tutoring partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools.
About 24 tutors from the University Honors Program will work closely with the middle school students using a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Honors student Joelle Stangler is one of many UHSA members who collaborated with Minneapolis Public Schools to develop the program. “The project is important because it allows University of Minnesota students to provide mentorship to students, promote STEM fields, and give back to the surrounding community,” she says.
Currently, the plan is to expand the program after this pilot year. “We are in a unique position,” says Ryan Olson, UHSA’s president. “We attend a world-class institution positioned in a city with one of the highest achievement gaps in the nation. This is an opportunity for college students to confront a very important issue in their community.”