Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement

FIRST is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We embrace and encourage differences in race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, religion, income or any other characteristics that make our adult-force and students unique.

Exploring, developing and implementing strategies to become more inclusive and ensure access to our programs to all students (as well as access to key supports) is critical for FIRST to reach its goal and mission. ALL young people should have the opportunity to become science and technology leaders. FIRST will remove barriers to program participation for underserved, underrepresented students. Pursuant to that end, FIRST Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion is a concerted, organized effort to develop strategies to make its programs more accessible and inclusive.

Underrepresented, Underserved & Vulnerable Youth

FIRST has prioritized underrepresented, underserved and vulnerable youth include but not limited to:

Underrepresented Populations

  • Hispanics & Latinos
  • African Americans
  • American Indians
  • Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders

Underserved Populations

  • Girls and young women
  • Economically disadvantaged students
  • First generation in college
  • Disconnected Youth
  • Those living in rural or urban areas

Vulnerable Youths

  • Youth emancipating from foster care
  • Runaway and homeless youth
  • Youth involved in the juvenile justice system
  • Immigrant youth and youth with limited English proficiency
  • Youth with disabilities and/or receiving special education

Definitions from Committee on STEM Education (2013) and Fernandes-Alacantra (2014).