Philadelphia Selected as Finalist in the US2020 City Competition to Bolster Stem Mentorship for Underrepresented Students

Philadelphia, November 12, 2013  The City of Philadelphia was notified that it has been selected as one of thirteen first-round finalists for the US2020 City Competition.  The US2020 City Competition, which is a Clinton Global Initiative project, capitalizes on the role of cities as centers for innovation, supporting outstanding efforts to build science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mentoring capacity at the local level.


“In Philadelphia and across the country, there is a critical need for increased participation in STEM related education and fields.  Our City has incredible STEM resources available to excite, educate and prepare our young people – especially girls, children of color and children from low-income families,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “As a part of our US2020 application, we are bringing together a coalition of STEM partners from colleges and universities, corporations and businesses, and research institutions to impart their collective knowledge and mentor Philadelphia students.  I want to thank US2020 for responding to President Obama’s call for innovative solutions to the nation’s STEM education challenge.”


Led by Chief Education Officer Lori Shorr, with support from the Mayor’s Office of Grants, Philadelphia has brought together a strong guiding coalition of partners including the Philadelphia Youth Network, the Philadelphia Education Fund, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Center for Schools & Communities, the City of Philadelphia Recreation Department, Drexel University, Dow Chemical Company, The Franklin Institute, the Free Library of Philadelphia, GSK, iPraxis, the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement & Volunteer Service, the Out of School Time Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania, the Out-of-School Time System of Systems, Penn State Abington, the School District of Philadelphia, and Spark Philadelphia.


The coalition is seeking to enhance and expand STEM-related opportunities for Philadelphia youth – particularly those who are low income, of color and/or female, to provide focused, hands-on mentoring from local STEM professionals.


The competition was announced by President Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative in June. The first round finalists will join peers and STEM experts in Boston on December 4th-5th for a two-day strategy session, called Ideas Camp, to help teams move their plans from concept to implementation.


The second round applications are due in January 2014 with three to five winners selected in February 2014.  The winning cities will share nearly $1 million in resources from US2020, including:


  • A cohort of on the ground service corps members to help implement their plans;
  • Access to a state of the art online volunteer matching platform;
  • Funds to hire a local project manager;
  • Pro bono consulting services from a top consulting firm to help operationalize their plans;
  • Participation in communities of practice with national leaders in STEM; and
  • National recognition as leaders in the STEM mentoring movement.


“Through the City Competition, cities are tapping into their most powerful resources — their citizens,” said Eric Schwarz, Executive Chairman of US2020 and Co-Founder and CEO of Citizen Schools. “With representation from such diverse coalitions, we know that we’ve begun to stimulate a movement and are well on our way to making 1 million high quality STEM mentoring matches by the year 2020.”


The US2020 City Competition received 52 entries and selected the following cities as first-round finalists:

  • Allentown, PA
  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • Boston, MA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Research Triangle, NC
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Wichita, KS

About US2020

US2020 is a new organization formed through a partnership of leading education non-profits and corporate leaders in the STEM field. The initiative emerged from a White House call to generate big, innovative solutions to our STEM education challenge, with a focus on increasing access to STEM careers for girls, underrepresented minorities in the sciences, and low-income children. US2020 will be incubated within Citizen Schools, a leading education non-profit and will become a standalone non-profit entity in 2014. US2020 relies on a committed and growing community of public, private, non-profit and individual partners. To learn more, visit


Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release
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