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Aug 16, 2011

DALLAS, Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Instruments Foundation has given a $413,000 grant to the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation (NAPE-EF) to manage and expand the impact of the highly successful High-Tech High Heels (HTHH) program.  

Based in Dallas, HTHH has been effectively preparing girls to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) since 2003 by working with both educators and students, primarily in two North Texas school districts (Dallas ISD and Plano ISD).  Over the next three years, the new grant will allow NAPE-EF to enrich the current offerings with their expertise and resources and broaden their partnerships in North Texas to strengthen and expand the program to at least two new districts.

The HTHH program was founded in 2001 by 30 Texas Instruments (TI) women executives who – concerned with the low number of women graduating with technology-related degrees – made personal contributions to fund development of the program.

With other TI corporate and foundation grants over the past eight years, HTHH has provided gender equity training for educators, STEM career workshops for counselors and Advanced Placement (AP) Physics Camps for high school girls.  Over 700 girls have attended HTHH's two-week camps in Dallas and Plano.  In the districts where HTHH has concentrated its efforts, gender equity training was offered to 57 teachers with a focus on physics teachers.  Since inception, the annual number of AP Physics tests passed by girls has increased by almost 100, with girls passing 161 tests for college credit in 2010.  

"Given the significant impact of the High-Tech High Heels programs, we focused on a growth strategy that would enable us to reach substantially more teachers and students," says HTHH Executive Director Tegwin Pulley, a retired TI executive who helped start the program. "Our goal was to find a nonprofit that could grow our programs. After considering several partners, the obvious choice became NAPE-EF."

"The passion that NAPE-EF has for helping girls and under-represented minorities succeed in STEM fields makes them a perfect partner," HTHH Co-Chair Wanda Gass, a TI Fellow, agrees. "I have every confidence that they will be able to grow and enhance the programs that we have piloted."

HTHH Co-Chair Melendy Lovett, TI senior vice president and president of TI's Education Technology business, adds, "Transitioning our program management to NAPE-EF provides a better opportunity for the programs to be more broadly funded and scaled toward our goal of more girls being prepared to enter university programs in STEM fields."

Under the new agreement, over the next three years, NAPE-EF will adopt and expand the HTHH programs (developed by a fund originally called the Women of TI Fund) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including the addition of Richardson ISD in the coming school year.  For the teacher-training program, NAPE-EF plans to standardize and enhance the curriculum, provide on-line as well as face-to-face training, and create a virtual learning community that supports teacher collaboration and innovation.  In addition, HTHH will benefit from NAPE-EF's flagship program, the STEM Equity Pipeline Project (PIPE STEM), which will enhance the HTHH programs through access to NAPE's extensive expertise, networks, and resources for use in the classroom.

"We are excited and honored to be partnering with such an important and impactful program," says NAPE-EF Chief Executive Officer Mimi Lufkin. "The High-Tech High Heels suite of programs will enrich our offerings for educators and play an incredibly instrumental role in giving girls the tools and support they need to pursue careers in the STEM professions in Dallas Fort-Worth and beyond."

"The TI Foundation congratulates the women who had the vision to start this much-needed STEM program," said Ann Pomykal, TI Foundation executive director.  "We are confident that NAPE will continue to expand the scope and effectiveness of this program."

While NAPE-EF will manage and expand the HTHH programs as part of its growth strategy for the STEM Equity Pipeline suite of programs, there will be no change to the HTHH Fund founded by the women of TI. The HTHH Fund will remain in place as a donor-advised fund at the Dallas Women's Foundation to support programs to encourage and prepare girls to pursue degrees in STEM fields.

About NAPE

NAPE is a national, nonprofit consortium of state and local agencies, corporations, and national organizations that collaborate to create equitable and diverse classrooms and workplaces where there are no barriers to opportunities. The NAPE Education Foundation has been involved in a number of initiatives to increase diversity in America's workforce and to increase opportunities in high-skill, high-wage, high-demand careers. Among these is the National Science Foundation-funded STEM Equity Pipeline Project, which works with educational systems to increase the participation of underrepresented populations in STEM education. For more information, visit www.napequity.org and www.stemequitypipeline.org .

About Texas Instruments Foundation

The Texas Instruments Foundation, founded in 1964, is a non-profit organization providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where Texas Instruments operates. While its primary focus is on providing knowledge, skills and programs to improve science, technology, engineering and math education, the Texas Instruments Foundation also invests in health and human services programs that meet the greatest community needs.

SOURCE Texas Instruments Incorporated