Liberty scholar completes prestigious Carnegie Mellon University pre-college program

Liberty High School senior Nailah Donatto completed a Summer Academy for Math and Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Nailah Donatto, a rising senior at Liberty High School from Liberty, Texas, recently participated in the Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

SAMS is a rigorous summer residential experience designed to increase the number of outstanding high school students who have access to math and science education. The program prepares them to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines at the nation’s top colleges and universities.

Rising high school seniors across the United States apply to the highly competitive national program, which provides students an opportunity to take courses and complete hands-on research projects with Carnegie Mellon faculty members.

In addition, students participate in skills-building workshops focused on the college application process. The university provides the program for free to all selected participants; in the past 15 years, 1,300 students from 45 states and Puerto Rico have traveled to Pittsburgh for the prestigious program.

About 75 percent of SAMS participants go on to pursue a degree at a selective university, and nearly 40 percent pursue undergraduate degrees in STEM fields. For those who enroll at Carnegie Mellon, an impressive 70 percent pursue STEM majors.

Students from any background are welcome in the program, and SAMS staff members actively recruit participants from across the United States from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in math, science and engineering fields, including women, students of color, from low-income families, who will be first-generation college students, or from households where English is a second language.

Carnegie Mellon recently announced a $3 million gift from the PNC Foundation, of which $2.5 million will establish an endowment that will support SAMS participation by 75 students annually, and provide financial education programming to students and families.

More information about SAMS can be found at

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