About Us

Tracy Barnett Jones
Founder, YoungSTEMs LLC

I am so excited to be on a STEM journey to encourage the youth of today!  As technology marches along, I take seriously the vision to have all young people stay squarely in-tuned, not just as consumers, but competitive producers. Most of us need someone to communicate their belief in us from time to time, and I stand doing that in the programs and services we offer in YoungSTEMs.

I recall as a child taking apart my transistor radio, and propping up the circuit board in a little alcove in the bedroom I shared with my sister.  Although I was fascinated by it, I knew nothing about it. There was not anyone to push my curiosity as my family managed to struggle through difficulties and challenges, and yes, tragedy.

I had planned to train in radiology, but decided to become a teacher instead.  For over 30 years I have held very high expectations for my students and myself, refusing to accept as ‘normal’ the long-standing and stubborn patterns of underachievement of poor and formerly minority children in our public schools.  Today, the challenges of equity are real in a volatile political environment. I am motivated by the basic premise that we all have EQUAL value, and are born with individually unique qualities. These characteristics are often hidden in poverty, inequality, racism, sexism, poor self-image, and other factors affecting the opportunity to become all that we can.  Simply put, I was motivated to start YoungSTEMs to push back on the tide that would maintain the status quo.

Why is it acceptable in this country to say, ‘I’m bad at math’? Do you know many people who would admit to being semi-literate? [The first step we need to take as a country] is to make it socially unacceptable to be bad at math just like it’s socially unacceptable to be bad at reading.

— Jenne Parks at hatchearlylearning.com

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