LSU EnvironMentors (EM) is an award-winning after-school science mentoring initiative that pairs underrepresented students from area high schools with LSU graduates and undergraduates. LSU student mentors volunteer two or more hours each week to work individually with the high school students on a year-long scientific research project. Each mentee’s work culminates in a poster competition in which his/her year-long data collection and research findings are succinctly summarized and presented. Top EM students from this local competition earn the privilege to compete at the annual EnvironMentors National Fair in Washington D.C.
High school students complete the program with increased confidence in their ability to achieve challenging life goals, to do well in STEM courses, to understand the workings of the natural environment, and to communicate with an assortment of audiences using multiple platforms. Students who complete the EM program have a higher likelihood of graduating from high school and pursuing higher education. Also, participating college mentors develop their leadership skills while giving back to their community. LSU EnvironMentors opens a world of opportunities for tomorrow’s environmental workforce.
I am especially proud of our EnvironMentors (EM) program. We are providing underserved students with the personal tools and skills essential to meet challenging life goals. Accordingly, many of our EM alumni are now pursuing higher education, which is a primary aim of the EM program. Twelve have already graduated from college. This is a remarkable accomplishment.- Christopher D'Elia, Professor and Dean, LSU CC&E