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In Support of Expanding Young Scholars Programs

WHEREAS, our nation and the world currently faces a wide range of challenges around sustainable, affordable, accessible and adequate food production; and

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to encourage, recruit and increase the number of young African-American men and women who are educated and trained in the sciences and in particular, the global environmental crisis, which has adversely effected agricultural food production; and

WHEREAS, youth internships, such as the Young Scholars Apprenticeship Program, at the University of Georgia and other universities, have afforded minority high school students, in particularly, African-Americans, opportunities to work with university scientists on research projects, visit scientific research facilities, defend their research during videoconferencing and at graduation, participate in weekly college preparatory workshops, conduct research in rain forests, bays, estuaries, etc., along with exposure to the cultural and languages of different countries around the world; and

WHEREAS, the enormously successful Young Scholars Program was initiated by a small grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and previously provided students with modest stipends to supplement income loss from summer employment while fulfilling their apprenticeship obligations and requirements until affirmative action legislation prohibited the much needed financial subsidies; and

WHEREAS, young scholars, who have spent multiple years in the internship program grow intellectually, have an improved self-image, and have a better appreciation for higher education, resulting in a higher percentage college

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to prepare African-American students in their formative, most impressionable years, for careers in the sciences; and in particular, underrepresented occupations in agricultural food production and the environmental sciences which address causes of food scarcity and quality; by duplicating and expanding Young Scholars Apprenticeship program models; and

WHEREAS, the USDA offers several scholarship programs for careers in service, teaching, management, or research in the life sciences and related sciences that support and enhance the environment and or food production.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) advocates for expansion of the Young Scholars Program models at public land grant institutions in every state and U.S. Territory, with the mission of improving the quality of lives of all citizens; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NAACP urges the United States Congress to appropriate the necessary funding to expand and duplicate Young Scholars Program models nationwide in an effort to ensure research and remedies in sustainable and adequate food production and alleviation of contributing environmental factors; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NAACP urges and assists land grant colleges to recruit and educate African-American students seeking or using USDA scholarships and grants; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that all units of the NAACP will promote the recruitment of African-Americans to Young Scholars Apprenticeship program models with the goal of curing the number of underrepresented minorities in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers.