LSU NSBE ‘Walks’ For Education
The LSU chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) recently hosted its organization’s second annual national event, “A Walk for Education,” in Baton Rouge.
The goal of the event is “to increase awareness of the opportunities available through education, particularly in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, and to shatter myths about African-Americans in math, science, engineering and other technologies.”
As part of the grassroots program, NSBE members go door to door in underserved black communities and hand out information on colleges, scholarships, SAT/ACT preparation, the NSBE itself, and the benefits of majoring in STEM fields.
Roughly 50 members from the LSU, Southern University and University of Louisiana-Lafayette NSBE chapters collaborated in the walk, which NSBE Chair Austin Mamou said helps spark the conversation about higher education within minority communities.
“NSBE created ‘A Walk for Education’ because we are trying to graduate 10,000 African-American engineers by 2025,” Mamou said. “This is going to almost triple the rate we are at right now.”
After the walk, Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome spoke about the importance of education.
Amoni McNair, a chemical engineering major from Baton Rouge, stressed how important it is to educate youth about engineering while they are young.
“If you put it in their minds that it’s something they can do while they are young, then they are more likely to actually do it as they get older,” McNair said.
In 1971, two Purdue University undergraduate students, Edward Barnette and Fred Cooper, approached the dean of engineering at Purdue with the concept of starting the Black Society of Engineers (BSE). They wanted to establish a student organization to help improve the recruitment and retention of black engineering students.
Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., NSBE offers academic excellence programs, scholarships, leadership training, professional development and access to career opportunities for thousands of members annually. With more than 2,000 elected leadership positions, 18 regional conferences and an annual convention, NSBE provides opportunities for success that remain unmatched by any other organization
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