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How NMSI Is Helping Los Angeles Students Succeed

Samantha Jimenez, Photo: Courtesy of Angela Chambers

Samantha Jimenez, a 2020 graduate of San Pedro High in Los Angeles, is saving thousands in college costs after receiving credit hours for passing multiple Advanced Placement (AP) math, language, and humanities exams. She thanks the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) for providing AP study supports with expert coaches and covering the $94 cost per exam (for students at NMSI partner schools).

“I was struggling in calculus, so having the extra help on problems and review from NMSI helped me a lot,” said Jimenez, who is considering an environmental engineering degree because she’s concerned about climate change and wants to protect California’s redwood forests. 

Digital expertise

Online delivery is not new for NMSI, a Dallas-based nonprofit that continues to build on its experience to maintain and grow supports for students, teachers, and school systems across the country. Focusing on its mission to serve students furthest from opportunity, NMSI is working with school partners to determine digital access needs, and will help them connect to hardware and broadband providers to remove barriers to academic achievement. 

“Inequality appears in digital learning, particularly for Latino and Black communities,” said Bernard Harris, Jr., NMSI’s CEO and the first Black astronaut to complete a spacewalk. “I think about the urgency in forming partnerships to better serve communities with economic disparities.”

NMSI programs integrate culturally relevant teaching practices, including materials with a focus on Latino and Black voices, and ways to support English language learners.

Summer series

More than 4,000 educators from across the country participated in NMSI’s online Summer Series trainings — on par with NMSI’s in-person teacher training enrollment — with a focus on how to adapt to unprecedented changes during the 2020-21 school year and improve equity in education.

For the 2020-21 school year, NMSI is providing blended (online and in-person, if health guidelines allow) teacher trainings, and continues to offer online student study supports. Students and teachers have 24/7 access to NMSI supports via on-demand online modules. 

NMSI’s Military Families Mission schools like San Pedro High are funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. NMSI is part of the Defense STEM Education Consortium. Learn more at

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