The Fresno Regional Foundation awarded $23,200 to the Lyles College of Engineering’s Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program at Fresno State to support MESA Saturday Academies for underrepresented middle and high school students.

Fresno State’s MESA program is a partnership between the university, local school districts and professional organizations that has served students in the central San Joaquin Valley since 1980. It works with 23 middle and high schools, impacting about 1,200 students.

“The program’s mission is to develop in disadvantaged students, especially those from underrepresented groups, the knowledge and skills that will enhance their interest and prepare them for professions requiring degrees in engineering, and other mathematics and science-based fields,” said Kristin McCoy director of  Fresno State’s MESA Program.

Saturday Academies are day-long workshops during which students participate in a variety of math and science projects such as Web design, building rockets and designing solar cars.

For the 2012-2013 academic year the academies are scheduled for Oct. 13, Nov. 17, Dec. 8 and Feb. 23.

“By exciting students about math, science and engineering at a young age, we unlock new possibilities for their future,” said Dr. Ram Nunna, dean of the Lyles College of Engineering.

The mission of Fresno Regional Foundation is to improve the quality of life in the San Joaquin Valley through philanthropy. The gift to Fresno State was one of several grants awarded by the foundation to support youth-serving organizations in the Central Valley.

The gift counts toward the university’s Campaign for Fresno State, an initiative to raise $200 million for scholarships, faculty, programs and facilities. As of May 2012 the campaign had raised more than $188.8 million. It is the first comprehensive campaign in the university’s history and among the largest in the CSU system.

For more information, contact Kathleen Schock, Fresno State’s campaign communications director, at 559.278.2756 or

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