In celebration of Pi Day, many City Year teams are discussing not only the significance of 3.14 with their students, but it also opens up the larger conversation of why math skills, or more broadly STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills are not only necessary for their ticket to graduation, but life after their diploma as well.

According to a recent study, “Specific high-value skills requested by employers and common to STEM occupations are particularly scarce relative to demand and yet particularly valuable to employers.”

Simply said, there is a high employer demand for STEM skills and there are not enough people who have these skills, making them even more valuable.  City Year wants all students to graduate high school ready for college or a career they are passionate about. Knowing more about the variety of opportunities available makes this goal more likely.

Donna Faix, Corporate & Social Responsibility Program Manager at Teva Pharmaceuticals explains why these skills are so crucial and why Teva has chosen to take part in educating the next generation through their role as a City Year Team Sponsor at Kensington Health and Sciences Academy in Philadelphia.

Tremendous improvements in science and technology have enhanced our lives, changed the economy, and positioned the U.S. as a world leader. We need to increase students’ interest and excellence in STEM education and inspire them to learn more, so they can not only further their own education and career, but also contribute to and make an impact on our ever changing world,” says Faix.  Faix goes into more detail in the questions below:

Why does Teva choose to support the work of City Year Philadelphia?  
City Year is the only national organization placing full-time, trained young adults in schools to provide individual attention to targeted students.  This year alone, City Year Philadelphia has given individualized math support to nearly 1,000 students so far.  City Year is an inspiring organization and one that we are proud to call a partner.

What are some of the challenges facing students and schools today with advancing math and STEM skills? 
There are many challenges facing schools and students today, especially those in traditionally underserved and at-risk communities. Students and teachers face many resource limitations, including a lack of materials, equipment and education support.   We need programs designed to supplement standard high school STEM curriculums and allow students to gain direct “hands on” experience to inspire them to consider future careers in related fields.

Why are math and STEM skills important for your future work force?
From researchers to accountants to tax personnel, Teva needs employees with strong STEM skills.  In addition, the U.S. is facing a shortage of healthcare professionals, and we need trained physicians, nurses, and pharmacists to continue to provide care to patients.  Learning STEM skills will help students to discover what careers they want to pursue, and how their work will help change the world. 

Follow #CYPiDay to see how City Year celebrates Pi Day 2016!

Teva Pharmaceuticals supports the work of City Year Philadelphia AmeriCorps members at Kensington Health and Sciences Academy.To learn more about how Teva gives back to the community, click here. 

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