How do you get kids excited about summer school — and not look at it as a punishment? We asked our brightest social engineers from the Verizon Foundation to design a summer school program that middle school boys would be eager to attend. The result was Verizon’s Minority Male Makers program, a first-of-its-kind, two-year program that exposes young African American and Latino male students to high-level technology skills. Housed on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), the goal is to provide students with an opportunity to realize their potential and show them a path towards a brighter future. The program includes summer technology workshops, four to five days per week, for approximately four weeks, taught by university partners. Students also meet with mentors, who will be their advisor and champion throughout the school year.
This summer, the Minority Male Makers program is expanding to eight new cities. Hundreds more young men across the country will gain valuable skills in app development, 3D design, robotics and entrepreneurship skills. The program also pairs students with mentors for continued learning and support throughout the school year.
Today, Verizon announces the expansion of the program to an additional seven HBCUs and one Hispanic-serving institution including:
- California State University, San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA
- Central State University, Wilberforce, OH
- Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA
- Delaware State University, Dover, DE
- Hampton University, Hampton, VA
- Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis, MO
- Texas Southern University, Houston, TX
- University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC
Minority men are significantly underrepresented in STEM fields. During the summer of 2015, in partnership with four HBCUs, we launched Verizon Minority Male Makers to help close the gap. We were able to reach more than 470 middle school boys, and the program’s first year revealed promising results. Students created more than 580 products including apps and 3D printed objects, and at the conclusion of the program:
- 100% of students increased mobile technology proficiency;
- 75% increased interest in STEM subjects; and
- 69% increased interest in STEM careers.
With today’s announcement, the program will reach eight new cities and eight new African American and Hispanic schools.