Helping inspire confidence in low-income students is one of my main volunteering efforts. Each year I speak at STEM Career Accelerator Day to encourage students from the Bronx, NY and Lexington, MA to pursue long-term careers in STEM fields. I facilitate a workshop where students attempt to build paper prototypes of “Hoppers,” a project based on the Olin College Introductory Biomimicry course, required for all students in their freshman year. The Clinton Global Initiative held the event at Dassault Systemes in Waltham, MA.
The STEMCAD is organized by STEMconnector, who helps coordinate efforts of the government and the private sector to boost STEM education across the United States. Dassault Systèmes takes part in one of the organization’s premier national campaigns: STEM Career Accelerator Day.
STEMCAD2015 seeks to connect thousands of students in grades 8-12 with dozens of high-tech companies so that the students would get a first-hand understanding of the jobs filled by STEM professionals. More than 15,000 students nationwide participate, giving them a glimpse at the career paths a STEM education could offer, and encouragement to pursue their interests in math and science.
You can read more about the event here. Dassault STEM Day
I volunteered as a teaching assistant at the Governor’s Institute of Vermont (GIV) summer entrepreneurship program. I talked to students about entrepreneurship, opened up avenues of inquiry, and organized activities to support the senior faculty. The students were enthusiastic and excited to come up with ideas for their companies and learn about how other entrepreneurs had succeeded in the past. My cohort visited King Arthur’s Bakery, heard from the founder of Vermont Peanut Butter, and toured a technology consultancy in Northern Vermont.
The New York Times wrote an article about the institute. You can hear some of the feedback from high school students through the GIV introduction video. Here is a link to the Entrepreneurship Institute and description about how students can earn college credit for enrolling in GIV during the summer.
The students go through chapters of the From Ideas to Action program created by two Babson students, Amy Malinowski and Stephen Chisa, for a the BELA program in Rwanda.
I coach college students about how to become effective group leaders and team members. The coaching day at Babson College consists of a three-hour case challenge where students solve real-world business scenarios under pressure. Coaches preside over the case session and observe how students think, act, and collaborate. Students only learn the identity of their coach until the second half of the day, when coaches meet one-on-one to offer constructive criticism.
Coaches go through a weekend-long training course about how to give feedback and the subtler nuances of being a leader/teammate. Babson invites certified coaches to be mentors for the leadership and teamwork training program required for students in their Freshman and Senior years. Students come away with real-life context and additional confidence about how to affect change in their group work.
It is one of the most meritorious programs Babson offers and excites students to continue becoming leaders and team members in their coursework and later in their careers. I went through the program when I was a student and clearly remember the heartwarming feeling of being mentored by a successful business professional. I look to pass this onto other students in the program.
Isara Fundraiser organizer, Relay for Life team captain, Ronald McDonald House fundraiser, JDRF fundraiser, DTD Philanthropy Chair, OpenTable food pantry volunteer, Charles River clean up crew, Girls Inc. gift wrapper, Habitat for Humanity volunteer, & Ten Thousand Villages volunteer.