• New STEM school in North Jacksonville pushing to enroll low-income students

    By: Jamarlo Phillips , Action News Jax


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Story published 7/11/19:

    There is a new push to get local low-income students interested in STEM careers and increase their chances of landing a job.

    Dr. Cynthia Smith is the director at Minds of the Future Academy. She graduated from Andrew Jackson High School, which sits across the street from the school.

    Smith told Action News Jax one advantage of the building is that it’ll offer students the chance to learn math and science together.

    Smith is passion about education. 

    “This area is very dear to me because I grew up in this area and I know what it’s like to not have a safe place to go. We will offer students the opportunity to come here for free,” said Smith. 

    Smith said the school is raising the bar for pre-K through kindergarten students in North Jacksonville. 

    “We need to be able, as an educator, provide students educational excellence in all areas,” Smith said. 

    Students who attend the school will have access to state-of-the-art technology, laptops, piano lessons and dance classes.

    Parent Gregory Arnold said he believes the school is the best option for his daughter.

    “She’s very adventurous and loves to do new things and eager to learn so I just want to keep her on that path,” Arnold said. 

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    Next to the playground out back, students will learn about gardening. 

    Smith said STEM learning can change a child’s life and, when you do that, she said you can change a community.

    Nearly two dozen students are already enrolled at the school.

    The building will be able to hold around 130 students. 

    The school plans to launch its new program in August when school starts.

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