NAHJNU Secretary Natalie Escobar’s story on black students in STEM

More African-Americans have access to college, but few of them end up earning tech and science degrees.

When Harvard University sophomore Solange Azor decided on a college major, sociology seemed like a natural fit. Her classes on gender and social policy shined a light on things she experienced as a young black woman in America.

“My decision to major in sociology was influenced by a lot of things, but very specifically by my race,” said the New York native. “As a black female, I’ve seen a lot of marginalization.” She has noticed, however, that Harvard’s STEM community seems much less diverse than others on campus. That was not necessarily a deciding factor in where she landed, Azor said in a phone interview, but the sociology community felt much more diverse and welcoming.

African-Americans have more access to a college education than ever, but they are underrepresented in major fields like STEM that are correlated with higher salaries, according to a new study by the Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

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