May 12 2017

Dell EMC Supports Boston After-School STEM Program

School and business partnerships provide a boost to all involved.

Big tech companies like Google have stepped up in recent years to help nonprofits and organizations provide underserved students with access to education infused with technology.

After-school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs have seen success, so it’s a no-brainer that a tech giant like Dell EMC would put its support behind one.

Late last year, it was announced that Dell EMC would provide the nonprofit Citizen Schools with $100,000 to directly support hands-on STEM programs in Massachusetts.

Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit that boosts middle school education in six states through after-school programs that include apprenticeships with local experts, has partnered with EMC since 2008 — before the merger with Dell.

“Dell EMC is committed to closing the learning gap and giving young people access to the technology and skills they need to thrive in a connected world,” says David Goulden, the president of Dell EMC, in the press release.

Citizen Schools will join Dell’s Youth Learning program, which has 71 partners in 17 countries.

“Our giving initiatives apply Dell’s technology, expertise and volunteers in communities considered underserved or underrepresented for reasons such as poverty, insufficient infrastructure, geographic isolation, disability or illness,” reads the initiative’s website.

Boosting STEM Skill Access and Career Awareness

Whether big or small, partnerships between businesses and schools have benefits for both parties, Education World reports. For schools, these partnerships create more access to tools and content. For businesses, the programs can really help to make an impact on their future workforce.

The Citizen Schools programs in Boston are 10-week sessions in which students participate in two apprenticeships, working side by side with local experts, reports Boston After School & Beyond. STEM-related apprenticeships include subjects such as finance, microbiology, and robotics.

“For many of our students, these are opportunities that they may want to pursue after middle school or even after high school,” says Henry McCorkle, who runs the program at Orchard Gardens K–8 School. “We are really providing them with opportunities that they might not get during the school day.”

In Massachusetts, the program has seven campuses serving 1,531 students, and about half of the apprenticeships deal with STEM. Citizen Schools reports that 74 percent of students are interested in pursuing a STEM career after completing the program.