Verizon Innovative Learning, the company’s signature education initiative focused on addressing barriers to digital inclusion for more than a decade, through a suite of programs and resources, is expanding its free project-based enrichment program: Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers.
Previously known as two separate programs, Young Men of Color and Young Rural Women, the new Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers program, in partnership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), will now offer a choice of one 4-week or two 3-week summer enrichment programs, while continuing to provide middle school students in under-resourced communities with the opportunity to discover new problem-solving skills and gain exposure to careers in STEM fields.
Since 2015, the newly renamed Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers program has offered an inclusive and engaging, hands-on experience developed to enrich learning through design thinking, 3D printing, augmented reality, social entrepreneurship and mentorship. The program’s interactive curriculum, developed by Verizon in partnership with Arizona State University’s Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute, centers around four educational tracks: immersive media, smart solutions, digital product innovations and artificial intelligence. The program is held in partnership with and on the campuses of a total of 44 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and community colleges across the country.
“One of the core tenets of Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers is to expose students to emerging technologies and teach students to think broadly about how technology can make the world a better place,” said Alex Servello, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Verizon. “Since the program launched, we’ve been able to reach thousands of students, not only through hands-on learning, but through mentorships that help to deepen their connection to STEM, as well as build their confidence and leadership skills outside of the classroom.”
“Being a part of Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers gave me access to amazing technology, which allowed me to enhance my skills in STEM and build upon my innate design capabilities,” said Christopher, a 16-year old student who previously participated in the program at Tuskegee University. “Through the program I also met great new friends and mentors and learned about the latest trends in technology. I enjoyed each day of the program and was always excited to see what new experiences we would engage in next.”
Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, next-gen learning for all
Over the last decade, working through nonprofit partners, Verizon Innovative Learning has committed $1 billion in market value to support digital equity and inclusion within education for some of the most vulnerable populations across the country. To date, the initiative has reached more than 1.5 million students at schools across the U.S., including Title I schools, and provided hundreds of schools with connectivity and next-gen technologies that bring innovative lesson plans to life.
One of the key programs available under the overarching Verizon Innovative Learning initiative, which scales the resources of its decade-long proven approach to integrating technology into the classroom, is now available to all students and teachers through Verizon Innovative Learning HQ. This new, freely available open access education portal enables any K-12 educator in the country to access innovative learning apps, professional development and tailored lesson plans to empower students to be social innovators and to create solutions using emerging tech. Verizon Innovative Learning HQ provides next-gen learning for students, covering a range of subjects from history to biology, through access to the latest AR and VR education tools.
Citizen Verizon: Goal to 10 million youths with digital skills training
These efforts are all part of Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental, and social advancement. Citizen Verizon empowers Verizon to deliver on its mission to move the world forward through action by expanding digital access and resources, protecting the climate, and ensuring people have the skills needed for jobs of the future. Through Citizen Verizon, and the key pillar of Digital Inclusion, the company’s responsible business goals include providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030.