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Renee Juhans

Headquarters, Washington October 4, 2002

(Phone: 202/358-1712)

RELEASE: 02-193



Astronaut Carlos Noriega and Estrella Mountain Community

College President Homero Lopez launched a new education era
today with the dedication of the NASA Center for Success in
Math and Science in Phoenix.

The newly dedicated student academic-support center, located

on the Avondale, Ariz., campus of Estrella Mountain Community
College, was established to inspire and support socially and
economically disadvantaged students in their pursuit of
higher education in science, technology, engineering and math

"NASA recognizes our nation has no greater task than

motivating our youth to reach their full potential," said
George E. Reese, Assistant Administrator for Equal
Opportunity Programs, NASA Headquarters, Washington. "Through
our best efforts, we can help build a brighter future for the
next generation by focusing on the needs of children in the
classroom today," Reese said.

In naming the Center, Estrella College recognized NASA's

commitment to inspiring the next generation of leaders and
explorers. The NASA Center for Success in Math and Science is
committed to developing students prepared to take part in
Arizona's knowledge economy. The Center also will serve as a
vital link for underrepresented students as they successfully
prepare for careers in a high-tech tomorrow.

Through the Center, NASA will provide educators with unique

resources to create learning opportunities that support
educational excellence. In addition, the Center will
encourage family involvement and will work to establish links
with business and community groups.

Sponsored by NASA's Office of Equal Opportunity Programs the

partnership between Estrella Mountain and NASA will not only
reach out to local Hispanic students in metropolitan Phoenix,
it will also engage Hispanic Serving Institutions currently
not involved in NASA programs, especially community colleges.

NASA and Estrella Mountain Community College are committed to

strengthening the educational system through pipeline
programs with strategic partnership alliances. NASA is
pleased to assist Estrella Mountain as it stands together
with other regional school systems as part of the solution to
Arizona's most pressing education dilemma -- preparing
Hispanic and other underrepresented students to take their
place in today's knowledge-based economy. Estrella Mountain
is part of the Maricopa Community Colleges, the nation's
largest community college district.