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This Golden LEAF grant will support the NCA&T Regional Collaborative for Excellence in STEM a comprehensive and inclusive program that targets the enhancement of STEM education and learning outcomes for middle school aged children in six counties in eastern NC: Bertie, Edgecombe, Gates, Pitt, Wilson and Martin. NCA&T will partner with six local school districts to assess, design, and implement programs focused on STEM education tailored to the needs and capabilities of these rural schools to improve STEM education. The project will use 3 major strategies in its approach. 1) Push-Pull Mentoring, 2) Professional Development Institute for Teaching and Learning, 3) Community Empowerment Network to build community engagement and capacity around the issues of economics, education and health disparities.