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Carnegie Mellon University launches $150 million partnership aimed at STEM education

CMU vows to give students with the fewest resources the most support
CMU vows to give students with the fewest resources the most support 02:14

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A promise was made Thursday at one of the nation's leading universities to give students with the fewest resources the most support.

Carnegie Mellon University launched a $150 million partnership to make sure students from under-resourced communities get the STEM education they need. 

It's in partnership with the Norman and Ruth Rales Foundation, which gifted an endowment of $110 million to support the program and CMU committed another $30 million in endowed funds. The first cohort will enroll in 2024, and the program hopes to eventually underwrite 86 graduate students in STEM fields in perpetuity.

KDKA's Meghan Schiller talked to current students who believe this investment in future industry leaders is key.

"STEM is something that affects everybody and if everybody is not part of building that STEM, then those solutions won't really help everybody," said TJ Thomas, a Carnegie Mellon student.

"It's really awesome that CMU and the Rales family bet on people like us because it's so difficult sometimes to find the motivation, the outside motivation to keep going," CMU student Susana Beltran said. "And it's situations like this that give us the opportunity to reach our full potential."

Governor Josh Shapiro echoed that sentiment, saying we need to keep the biggest brains in Pennsylvania. 

"We will look back on this investment and know that this investment leads to progress tomorrow for people who might otherwise not have a shot," he said. "That is real freedom, that is real opportunity and that is what is happening here at Carnegie Mellon University."

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