For many high school students, taking an Advanced Placement® (AP) class, especially one in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects, can be downright daunting. Some students may even stop before they start.

But at New Jersey’s Pemberton Township High School, in southern New Jersey, teachers like Kristi Chazan believe that entry into AP classes is a matter of attitude, not aptitude. And at Pemberton, a positive attitude is easy to come by.

That’s because the school participates in the National Math and Science Initiative’s (NMSI) College Readiness Program, an ExxonMobil-sponsored program, and the results speak for themselves.

Studies show that after just one year, schools that partner with the program perform 10 times better on AP exams than the national average. From mentorship and study sessions to new equipment and test subsidies, the program surrounds both teachers and students with the support needed for success. The program reaches underserved students. It expands their access to challenging classes. And that prepares them for those tougher courses, fostering their desire to pursue higher education.

NMSI’s work has directly benefitted more than 200 schools in the New York–New Jersey area, and provided training and resources for more than 700 area teachers. Nationwide, NMSI has impacted an estimated 2 million students. And this year, the initiative is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of giving students the support they need to succeed, all with the continued support of ExxonMobil.

This Teacher Appreciation Week, take a look at our conversation with Kristi and her student Naiomi on the impact NMSI’s program has had on their school.


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