Acorda Therapeutics is a biotechnology company based in Westchester County, New York. Our mission is to develop therapies that will restore function and improve the lives of people who live with neurological diseases. We believe that supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education in our local community is a natural outgrowth of that mission. By encouraging young students to pursue studies and careers in the STEM fields, we are ensuring the next generation of scientists and physicians who will discover the next generation of medicines and cures.

Mount Vernon is one of the least economically advantaged communities in Westchester. More than 93 percent of its public-school children are of color with more than 40 percent living at or below the poverty line. The high school graduation rate is 30% to 40% below the rate in surrounding communities.

Acorda partners with the Northeast Stem Starter Academy (NSSA) because it is working to address those challenges by encouraging at-risk young people in Mount Vernon to obtain the STEM-based skills that can enable them to break the cycle of poverty and pursue meaningful careers.

Mercy College Partners With Northeast STEM Starter Academy

Mercy College has entered a memorandum of understanding with Northeast STEM Starter Academy (NSSA) in Mount Vernon, New York.

The partnership between the two organizations means that NSSA students will benefit from Mercy faculty and volunteers who will teach STEM to the students. Additionally, the students will be exposed to STEM activities and have more informed options about the benefits of higher education.

The NSSA works in partnership with public school leadership in Mount Vernon to ensure at-risk students have access to state-of-the-art science and technology resources that prepare them for careers as teachers, scientists, computer technologists, doctors and engineers.

Mercy College Provost Jose Herrera said: “I’m excited about the opportunity to partner with an organization that, like Mercy College, is committed to driving meaningful change. I am excited about the mutual impact we can have in the lives of students from Mt. Vernon.”

NSSA Executive Director Gerald D. Dennis said: “As we strive to deliver at-risk, underserved students access to enhanced STEM learning, our partnering with Mercy College adds significant value. In addition to supporting our mission to address the disparity associated with educational outcomes, the relationship will empower our public-school students with a host of experiences that will encourage college enrollment and securing their degrees.”

Among the items settled on in the agreement are:

  • The College’s professors and instructors will support NSSA’s programmatic efforts for current students and educations
  • The two institutions will work together to create STEM centered programs for grades 2nd -12th
  • The two institutions will work together on grants
  • The NSSA student will be able to participate in various Mercy College STEM activities