Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, New Jersey Institute of Technology President Joel Bloom, and Newark Superintendent Roger Leon unveiled Wednesday the NJIT/Newark Math Success Initiative and the Mayor’s Honors Scholars Program.
The Math Success Initiative seeks to increase the number of Newark residents who enroll at NJIT for undergraduate education. The Scholars Program seeks to create a pipeline from Newark Public Schools to NJIT’s Albert Dorman Honors College by granting three scholarships and paid internships to Newark Public School graduates.
Bloom has worked at NJIT for 28 years and mentioned Baraka challenging NJIT to double the number of young men and women who attend NJIT.
“Every company today is a technology company,” Bloom said. “You want a job that pays well. STEM [Science Technology Engineering Mathematics] is difficult and takes a lot of hard work.”
“We are going to make sure you do not leave NJIT because of a lack of money,” Bloom said. “We will make sure you have opportunities to join the honors college. … The door is open. NJIT will transform your life.”
Leon said he is excited because his district is taking the initiative to improve the lives of children.
“This is about the betterment of our city,” Leon said. “When we eliminate all obstacles, we rise and become better and make Newark better. We are working with NJIT to help our schools get out of a hole,” Leon added.
Baraka said three high school students will have an opportunity to intern at Newark City Hall.
“As a 22-year educator in Newark Public Schools, I know just how dedicated, talented, and motivated our students are to succeed in the classroom and in life,” Baraka said. “I also know that numbers of them must overcome considerable challenges to gain the high grades they need to achieve their goals in life.”
Bloom said the language of science and technology is mathematics and that “Math is the only thing that stops a student from succeeding at NJIT.”
Baraka wants children to expect to graduate from high school and to enroll at NJIT and Essex County College at the same time.
“We are working to get 600 students ready, even without our machinations,” Baraka said. “In three years, we should have at least 600 kids from Newark enrolled at NJIT.”