In response to Matthew Conder (Readers' Forum, Aug. 8), I would like to provide some additional information regarding the MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) program.

Utah's MESA program started in 1985 in response to findings that minorities and females were underrepresented in math, science and engineering fields. While MESA targets these groups for its membership, it is not exclusionary — any student can join.

MESA runs programs in 13 school districts from Logan to San Juan using limited funding — just over $500,000 for the 2007-08 school year. With more funding, the program could be expanded. MESA helps students reach their potential. It is well deserving of any funding it receives.

Kristen Bird

chairwoman

MESA/STEP Advisory Board