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CSUSB Partners with the Verizon Innovation Learning Camp

Minority boys from middle schools across San Bernardino are learning technology skills this summer at Cal State San Bernardino

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: July 12, 2016


CSUSB Partners with the Verizon Innovation Learning Camp


Minority boys from middle schools across San Bernardino are learning technology skills this summer at Cal State San Bernardino as part of the Verizon Innovation Learning Camp.

CSUSB, a Hispanic-Serving Institution, is one of 12 institutions to offer the Verizon Innovation Learning Camp. The remaining 11 are Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Verizon launched the program in 2015 at four leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country.

"We are deeply honored to be part of the Verizon Innovation Learning Camp, which works well with the shared efforts of K-12 educators, colleges and universities and the business community in the Inland Empire to help students be college-ready by the time they graduate high school," said university President Tomás D. Morales. "Involving the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) not only inspires students at early age, but also increases the likelihood they will stay in the region as employers are attracted here by a well-educated and well-qualified workforce."

The first-of-its-kind, two-year program exposes young male African American and Latino students to technology, including coding and 3D printing, and provides valuable STEM and entrepreneurship skills.

The program also pairs the young men with mentors for continued learning and support throughout the school year. The Verizon Innovation Learning Camp is designed to open the eyes of young male students to the many future career opportunities these skills create.

Over the summer, students will participate in technology workshops on campus, 4-5 days per week, for approximately four weeks, taught by university professors. Students will also meet with mentors throughout the school year. The first of four sessions started on June 27.

Much attention has been paid to the importance of engaging girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), but very few are talking about the promise technology skills hold for young, minority boys.

Minority males are severely underrepresented in STEM fields and are less likely than Caucasian peers to graduate from high school on time and pursue college, according to a report "Black Lives Matter: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males."

Cal State San Bernardino will host three other camps, which run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The other three sessions scheduled are:
• July 11-14
• July 18-21
• July 25-28

Also hosting camps this summer are:
• Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio;
• Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga.;
• Delaware State University, Dover, Del.;
• Hampton University, Hampton, Va.;
• Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis, Mo.;
• Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas; and
• University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.

"As a mother of two sons, I am well aware of the challenges that African American males struggle with today," said Justina Nixon Saintil, director of Education Programs at Verizon. "We created the Verizon Innovation Learning Camp to provide these young men with STEM skills, because I have seen firsthand how exposure to technology can open their eyes to a brighter future they thought was out of their reach. We've already seen amazing results, and we can't wait to see how they'll change the world."
In the first year of the Verizon Innovation Learning Camp, more than 580 products, including apps and 3D printed objects, were designed and created by students. An evaluation of the program also revealed that:

• 100 percent of students increased mobile technology proficiency;
• 75 percent increased interest in STEM subjects; and
• 69 percent increased interest in STEM careers.

About the Verizon Foundation: The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company's innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, healthcare and energy management.

Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon's employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.8 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information about Verizon's philanthropic work, visit www.verizon.com/about/responsibility; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook www.facebook.com/verizonfoundation and Twitter www.twitter.com/verizongiving.

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