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Virginia State University is set to boost access to top STEM careers for high school students in Petersburg, which has a population of 33,000 and is close to the state capital of Richmond.

According to Virginia State University, a $40,000 supplemental grant from the Department of Education will expand STEM offerings, online coursework, and other STEM activities for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

“The VSU Upward Bound Program serves 88 high school students,” said Regina Barnett Tyler, director of Virginia State University TRIO Programs, in a college news release.

TRIO programs are federal outreach and student services. They include eight programs targeted to serve first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress from middle school to postgraduate. TRIO programs cover Student Support Services, Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math-Science, and Veterans Upward Bound.

“We will utilize these funds to educate (students) about STEM fields that will prepare them for the top 10 computer technology careers trending today. The main goal  is to spur interest and motivate students to pursue a career in the STEM fields,” Tyler said.

The Upward Bound Program will partner with the College of Engineering and Technology to implement the 2018-2019 Saturday sessions and summer programs.

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