High-achieving students are spending their summer at Texas Wesleyan, learning more about engineering and math as part of the eight-week Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program (TexPREP) for 7th-10th graders.
Chase awarded a $15,000 grant to help fund the program, which focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math - also known as STEM - careers.
Todd Ritterbusch, chairman of Chase Tarrant County and an engineer by trade, spoke of the importance of the TexPREP program.
“A big part of this program is preparing students for fields that are in very, very high demand in this country today,” Ritterbusch said. “This is also a program that exposes these students to a college campus and the environment that they will face when they pursue advanced studies. Showing them what it’s like to be here and the fact that they fit in and belong in this environment is just as important as the STEM education they’re receiving.”
The funding from Chase will be used for engineering building kits, dictionaries, academic books, and field trips.
Texas Wesleyan President Frederick G. Slabach told the TexPREP students about the importance of the bank’s support of the summer program.
“The grant that has been made to Texas Wesleyan for this program directly benefits all of you. We would not have been able to run this program with you this summer if it had not been for this wonderful contribution from Chase,” Slabach said.
Ritterbusch encouraged the students to pursue the fields they are studying now.
“This country needs people like you, in a very big way. That’s reflected every day in the number of positions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that go unfilled. These are high paying jobs,” he said. “They are also very rewarding jobs.”
TexPREP is a state initiative led by the University of Texas at San Antonio. Additional funding for Texas Wesleyan’s TexPREP program is provided by the Fort Worth Independent School District and the Sid W. Richardson Foundation.
This year’s summer program has 102 students from many ISDs: 73 percent from Fort Worth, 7 percent from Mansfield, 5 percent Arlington, 4 percent from Crowley, 4 percent from Keller, 2 percent from Lake Worth, and 1 percent each from Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Grapevine-Colleyville, Irving, Richardson, and Everman.