July 12, 2004
Contact: Kate Borgess
(757) 710-9141,
Jody Spraker (540) 230-4584

SJSU: Helping Students Reach for Tomorrow

San Jose, CA In an effort to correlate high school math and science with real world applications, Chicago public school students are taking to the road and the sky. Reach for Tomorrow Inc. (RFT) has sponsored 66 high school students and 25 adults from the Chicago and Washington DC areas to spend one week at the San Jose State University (SJSU).

Along with adult mentors, students will participate in such activities as: piloting light aircraft, completing mechanical engineering science labs, touring NASA Ames and interacting with Coast Guard personnel at the US Coast Guard Air Station. The academic experience will also incorporate a series of hands-on activities designed to correlate high school math and science with real world experiences.

“These seven days are only the beginning of Reach for Tomorrow’s attempts to help young adults realize their potential, reach for their goals, and strive for their dreams,” said Peter Underwood, Chairman and Founder of Reach For Tomorrow. Supplemented by corporate and private funding, RFT is a national non-profit organization designed to stimulate rising high school students to excel in academic, athletic and leadership endeavors.

“We need to increase the ability of the students to master the skills needed to thrive in our hi-tech, information age,” said Arne Duncan, chief executive office, Chicago Public Schools. “This program allows high school students to improve their achievement, attendance and attitudes, which will ultimately lead to success in high school and a potential college career.”

Founded in 1993, RFT offers at-risk students the opportunity to work in a variety of hands-on training opportunities. At no personal cost to the student and executed solely through volunteer efforts, RFT has worked to create a low cost, high impact program. College level science labs and interactive extracurricular opportunities keep students engaged during the days. In the evenings, students will meet with local military leaders and college admissions staff, and participate in a series of sports clinics.

One of the 3,000 plus RFT alumni, Jasmine Fox, said that it “helped me aspire to get a better education” and “I won’t settle for B’s and C’s, but go for the A’s.” Through trips such as this and continued mentoring, RFT strives towards its mission to improve each students educational motivation and desire for success.