Marc Vitali | April 6, 2022 5:23 pm

Chicago is home to Project SYNCERE, an educational nonprofit whose mission is to create pathways for under-represented and disadvantaged students to pursue careers in STEM fields.

“To provide young people with mentors that look like them is one way to encourage young people to realize that this is something that they can excel in in a professional way. That’s a critical part of what we do,” said Jason Coleman, co-founder and executive director of Project SYNCERE.

“We don’t just focus on introductory programs for young people,” Coleman told Paris Schutz. “We try to provide students with experiences and opportunities to continue to build and scaffold their learning, so by the time they’re ready to identify the type of engineering discipline that they would like to go into they have the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful.”

With Benjamin Franklin as the focus of a new Ken Burns documentary, WTTW News spoke with Coleman about the importance of science opportunities for young people.

“Failure is never a bad thing in science, but SYNCERE is about teaching young people how to look at those failures, learn from them, and move forward,” Coleman said.

Benjamin Franklin,” a film by Ken Burns, airs Sunday, April 10 on WTTW.

Follow original story at WTTW Here