It’s no secret that as the North Texas population continues to grow at an exponential rate, the need for quality workforce development also increases. Local business leaders and elected officials have expressed concern that our workforce is ill-equipped to meet the region’s future needs. One organization is making real strides in this area. (HS)2, a STEM-based summer program at Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, Colorado, is providing some of our brightest Tarrant County students the opportunity to prepare for science, technology, engineering and math careers and matriculate into our country’s best universities.
During five weeks over three consecutive summers, (HS)2 students from across the country engage in academic classes relating to science, math, writing and college counseling. In the afternoons and on the weekends students participate in activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, team sports, art, blacksmithing and music. This unique combination of challenging academics and outdoor activities contributes to the intellectual, social and emotional growth of the students. Over the last 12 years, 100% of the 200+ (HS)2 alumni have matriculated to college, with 74% entering a STEM related field.
In 2014, founding supporters Mollie and Garland Lasater established the (HS)2 Fund at the North Texas Community Foundation with the sole intention of providing scholarships for the summer program. Through the (HS)2 Fund, other Community Foundation fundholders, corporations and local private foundations have also become engaged with the organization and provided financial support to send even more Fort Worth students through the rigorous summer program.
To date, the (HS)2 Fund has granted over $1,546,291 in scholarship funds to prepare underserved students for college and empower them to succeed.