Arizona Community Foundation Awards the Neurodiversity Education Research Center

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a Grant for their Neurodiversity STEM Transition to Work Program

PHOENIX - s4story -- – Kenneth Mims, Founder and CEO of the Neurodiversity Education Research Center (NERC), which operates Science Prep Academy, is proud to announce a recently awarded grant of $25,000 from the Arizona Community Foundation, specifically earmarked for the Neurodiversity STEM Transition to Work Program.

According to Kenneth Mims, "With this grant, NERC plans to expand its reach with a new program called the "Neurodiversity STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Transition to Work Program," which aims to provide neurodivergent individuals across Maricopa County ages 16 - 24 with opportunities to enter STEM-related careers. The program will focus on enhancing education, providing social-emotional growth, preparing neurodivergent individuals to be competitive in the workforce, and promoting self-advocacy and higher performance."

The Neurodiversity STEM Transition to Work Program is a workforce development initiative that aims to address high unemployment and underemployment rates among neurodivergent individuals by providing opportunities to enter in-demand and high-wage STEM-related careers—increasing the representation of neurodivergent individuals in the field. This grant will be allocated to the program, which aims to help individuals on the autism spectrum ages 16-24 to achieve economic stability and better career opportunities.

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The Neurodiversity Education Research Center (NERC) is an organization that focuses on supporting neurodivergent individuals, particularly those on the autism spectrum, in transitioning to adulthood and the workforce. Through our flagship program, Science Prep Academy, located within Salvation Army Kroc Community Center in South Phoenix, NERC provides a positive learning environment, functional skills training, mental health support, and career preparation for neurodivergent students.

About the Neurodiversity Education Research Center and Science Prep Academy

The Neurodiversity Education Research Center (NERC) was founded in August 2017 by neurodiversity and STEM education expert Kenneth Mims to provide a unique learning experience for intelligent, positive, and neurodivergent students from diverse backgrounds and means. The center focuses on educating students to take responsibility for their lives, lead confidently, and act in a healthy manner.

Initially founded as Science Prep Academy, the school expanded its focus beyond STEM education as it grew. In May 2021, the school came under the NERC umbrella to reflect its broader mission and vision.

As an independent nonprofit research center, NERC is dedicated to improving access to quality education and workforce development for neurodivergent individuals. The center's multidisciplinary approach integrates expertise across STEM education, social and emotional learning, and workforce development.

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Through research, program development, and collaboration with other organizations, NERC promotes positive change in the lives of neurodivergent individuals. The center works closely with partners and stakeholders to ensure its research and programs are effective and impactful.

NERC's model provides a quality education through small class settings with a 4:1 student-teacher ratio, an innovative STEM curriculum, and exciting extracurricular activities. As a result of this model, the school has achieved outstanding student achievement.
For more information about NERC, please visit
For more information about Science Prep Academy's programs, please visit

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Source: Neurodiversity Education Research Center
Filed Under: Education

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