DNA’s summer program emphasizes a variety of science-based activities and fieldtrips for participating youth. A combination of experiential learning, field trips and presentations by experts in the field helps strengthen STEM skills and enhance awareness of STEM field career paths and opportunities.

I am determined to make a difference.  I don’t want my kids to suffer just because they live in rural Duplin County.  I want to show them things that kids in other counties are exposed to. I want my kids to have the same opportunities.”  

- Earlean Rivers, Executive Director, Diversity Nurtures Achievements Community Youth Center

Our Role

Through our Resourceful Communities program, we provided small grant support that supported a summer camp for 30 low-income youth of color. That summer camp provided STEM education, 7 field trips that emphasized nature and science, and a speaker series focused on career exploration. We worked with DNA to strengthen evaluation, program planning, fundraising and grant writing skills, as well as connect with new partners at State Parks and peer organizations.

Why This Project Matters

In Duplin County, NC, only 10% of residents over 25 hold bachelor’s degrees or higher, and despite deep cultural connections to natural resources, the area is home to significant environmental injustices. More broadly, people of color are underrepresented in the environmental field, comprising only 12.4% of environmental nonprofits, 15.5% of environmental government agencies and 12% of environmental foundations.

Our Resourceful Communities program works with community organizations to strengthen locally-driven programming in economically- and socially-distressed rural communities. We recognize the critical role of organizations like DNA to increase awareness of career opportunities and engagement with natural resource professionals, particularly professionals of color, in addition to changing inequities in access to public natural spaces for under-represented populations.