Last month, a group of YouthQuest students at Southwestern Classical Academy gathered around a livestream video and interacted with National Geographic Explorer and Education Fellow Joe Grabowski, who was aboard the Nautilus, an exploration vessel in the Pacific Ocean.

Over the course of the hour, students had the opportunity to ask Grabowski questions, including what he considered to be the biggest challenges of deep sea diving.

The Explorer Classroom is just one of the opportunities now available to YouthQuest students – and more than 10 million other afterschool students across the United States – thanks to a new partnership between the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the National Geographic Society.

As part of the partnership, National Geographic will work with afterschool employees – including YouthQuest staff – to bring its educational programming to afterschool and summer learning programs throughout the country.

“We believe that no matter where a child lives or what his or her family’s income might be, that child deserves access to great scientists, explorers and thinkers all around the world,” said Ridgway White, president of the Mott Foundation. “National Geographic can make that a reality. That’s equity of opportunity, which is really exciting to us.”

In addition to the Explorer Classroom, YouthQuest students will also have access to National Geographic’s GeoChallenge, an annual competition that challenges students to develop creative solutions to real-world problems.

“With the support of the Mott Foundation and National Geographic, we have the opportunity to inspire students through exploration and science,” says Cheryl Adkins, program director for YouthQuest. “Students have a chance to dream bigger than they ever have before.”

To learn more about this unique partnership, click here.

YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

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