TEANECK, N.J., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) today announced that the company has partnered with the US2020 initiative to advance science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and mentoring in the U.S. to enhance the country's global competitiveness. As part of the initiative, STEM professionals from America's most innovative companies will engage students from kindergarten through college to motivate and prepare them to become America's future technological workforce. The initiative was announced today at the 3 rd Annual White House Science Fair, where Gordon Coburn, President of Cognizant, joined leaders from nine U.S. non-profits and technology companies participating in the US2020 announcement. Cognizant is among the initiative's founding partners, along with Cisco, SanDisk, HotChalk, AfterCollege and others, that have pledged an investment of more than $2 million in private start-up funds to launch US2020 and support STEM mentoring. Additionally, the founding organizations have committed to substantially increasing their level of volunteerism with a long-term goal of mobilizing one million STEM mentors annually by the year 2020. "We are proud to be a part of US2020 in the movement to inspire more student interest in STEM careers," said Coburn. "As a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process services, we understand the critical role STEM education plays in preparing the students of today to participate in America's innovation economy. Few things are more important than STEM education to maintaining American competitiveness, and top technology organizations such as Cognizant have a key role to play in creating an ecosystem that will re-kindle the desire to pursue STEM-oriented disciplines and create millions of moments of discovery for children across the U.S." This new partnership with US2020 builds on Cognizant's robust efforts to advance and invest in new ways to support STEM education. In 2011, the Company launched Making the Future, an education initiative focused on inspiring in children—particularly girls and underrepresented minorities—a passion for STEM by providing fun, hands-on learning opportunities. Making the Future includes financial, in-kind, and volunteer support to education-oriented non-profits, a college scholarship program for students pursuing the STEM fields, and grants to child-serving organizations to run hands-on STEM-oriented afterschool and summer programs across the nation. "Volunteerism is ingrained in the culture of Cognizant," added Coburn. "Hundreds of our employees already serve as volunteers and mentors to thousands of children across the U.S. As professionals of a knowledge-based company, our employees feel that education is a gift they've received that they can give back to others. It is our promise that through our partnership with US2020, more Cognizant employees will serve as meaningful STEM mentors."