(Dallas, Texas) On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, Tarrant County College presented Maurine Amend, the Chair of TAME's Dallas Chapter, with the Outstanding Community Partner Award in recognition of her outstanding work and involvement with the campus and the community.
"I feel so appreciated and humbled by this honor from TCC," said Maurine. "It meant that my efforts are recognized and appreciated by those who put their trust and faith in me to help serve our students, who are indeed our future."
TAME is grateful for Maurine's dedication and volunteer service to her TAME students since 2010. Maurine teaches mathematics in a homeschooling program and learned that one of her students was active with the Fort Worth TAME Chapter. The parent of this student reached out to Maurine asking to form a group in the Dallas area. She decided to lend a hand, eventually taking on a leadership role to help the program continue to grow.
TAME was founded in the Dallas area four decades ago
. The idea was conceived in Dallas in 1974 when the Chancellor of the Dallas Community College District
discovered that on all of the Community College’s seven campuses with 50,000+ students, not one minority student was enrolled in the appropriate math/science classes to prepare them for engineering careers. The Chancellor brought together area educators, business people, and leaders within the minority community to develop strategies on how they could work together. Their success led to the idea that what worked in Dallas could easily work elsewhere around the state. By 1976, the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME), was granted its 501(c)(3) status and began its work statewide. Forty years later, TAME is reaching tens of thousands of students across Texas.
Strong local leadership is critical to the success of TAME's programs, like the after school TAME Clubs
and the annual STEM Competitions
. TAME's Dallas Chapter has shown significant growth in recent years. In the 2013-14 school year, the Dallas Chapter had 57 student members in four different TAME Clubs. Three years later, the Chapter has expanded to 187 students in 17 TAME Clubs.
In those three years, participation for the Dallas Chapter in the STEM Competition program grew from 25 students to over 80. In February of 2017, Maurine served as the Competition Coordinator for the Dallas Divisional STEM Competition
, hosted at Tarrant County College. The event, held free of cost to participants, brought together student competitors (grades 6-12) from across the region. In addition to testing student knowledge of math and science concepts, the competition promotes teamwork, leadership, and academic achievement.
Student participants, volunteers, TAME Club Sponsors, and local Chapter leadership at the 2017 Dallas Divisional STEM Competition.
Maurine's favorite memories come from the first time she was asked to chaperone students to the State STEM Competition. "I took six students from a group at TCC called Generation Hope
. It is a program for middle school students to help guide them to STEM fields." Three students were also invited to State from a homeschool program she pioneered with the help of TCC. Four of the nine students received recognition for placing at the State Competition. "[My favorite part] was to see the reaction of the students and their parents who were able to be a part of this event. I am still in communication with a few of these students and they still remember TAME."
Successful TAME Chapters rely on critical support from a variety of volunteers and partners within the K-12, higher education, and corporate sectors. Maurine named several individuals who have helped make the Dallas TAME Chapter the thriving community it is today. She was grateful for her husband Dave Amend for serving as her "lead engineer," as well as Shannon Fletcher, Helen Gonzales, Alisa Jones, Savita Raj, Linda Collins, and many more. "I could not do this work without them," she said.
Maurine hopes to grow interest in TAME with students in the Dallas area, with plans to "continue to create great possibilities for our students, to guide all of the students involved toward college and the STEM careers of their choice." She feels strongly about making a difference in the futures of her students. "Mostly, I hope to create a love of math and science for our children, and to have laughter and fun along the way. I can't imagine doing anything else in life but teaching!"
TAME is proud to work with educators like Maurine and partners like Tarrant County College to help Texas students launch careers in STEM. Together, we are helping to build a STEM workforce that looks like Texas.
Join Maurine and Tarrant County College in making a difference by visiting TAME's Get Involved