Letters to the Editor

Youth opportunity: STEM haves and have-nots

Like it or not, Tacoma is experiencing growing pains.

The city and Pierce County are ardently working to develop mass transit, improve Interstate 5 and even self-advocate to be Amazon’s new host city -- all in the name of remaining competitive and bringing Seattle’s lucrative STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career opportunities to Tacoma.

But there is a problem.

My professional experience working with Tacoma’s low-income families has led me to understand that although there are competitive STEM programs available to low-income youth, there are limited viable transportation options to get them to and from such programs.

Tacoma is a beautiful and diverse city, but if it wants to invest in its own, it must develop a robust way to provide all youth, regardless of socioeconomic status, the opportunity to participate in STEM programs.

When Tacoma’s youth miss out, Tacoma misses out.