NVBOTS & Citizen Schools Partnership Continues as Joseph A. Browne School Welcomes NVPro 3D Printer

I first took notice of NVBOTS and their lineup of 3D printers a couple of years ago as they entered the educational arena, ready to offer accessibility to students everywhere, beginning with their donation of an NVPro toCitizen Schools, a nonprofit organization. Since, NVBOTS has gone on to receive significant seed funding andSeries A financing, offer a 3D printing workshop for Scouts, as well as taking on commercial metal 3D printing. As their momentum keeps rolling, they’re staying focused on keeping current relationships strong too, and that includes Citizen Schools, as NVBOTS announces they will be expanding the 3D printing program partnership.

With 3D printers already in several other schools, now the NVBOTS NVPro will be finding a home at theJoseph A. Browne School which educates students from grades five through eight in Chelsea, MA. This will serve as a further extension in the partnership between the 3D printer manufacturer and the nonprofit organization as they continue an ongoing relationship in promoting 3D technology which began in 2013. Their goal together has been to give underprivileged students exposure to 3D printing and accompanying curricula and also to give them a chance to participate in the Citizen School Apprenticeship program, where they can learn hands-on.

“NVBOTS has always been passionate about inspiring students to turn their dreams into realities through 3D Printing,” said Chris Haid, NVBOTS director of operations and product management. “Our partnership with Citizen Schools is one grounded in inspiring students to learn through hands-on, experiential learning that teaches them to think differently – with confidence – and apply that way of thinking to other aspects of their life. We are proud of our growing partnership with Citizen Schools, as we give students the opportunity to innovate in ways they never imagined.”

citizen-schools-logoThroughout the years, NVBOTS has been able to create a classroom experience for students that ingrains STEM learning as they learn about design and engineering in a hands-on environment, creating products that actually make a difference. Their NVLibrary lesson plans offer introductory modules, including one that teaches students how to make 3D printed prosthetics. Their curriculum has even been used for students as young as the fourth-grade level, allowing them to learn about the technology and truly apply it to realistic issues we face in the world today.

NVBOTS has been recognized as a Top 10 Most Innovative Company in Education by Fast Company for their efforts. Students are given greater confidence as they learn new skills, as well as discovering strong new interests in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) subject areas—and seeing how challenging and fun the projects can be. Through working with NVBOTS, students truly are improving in their work, with student efficacy rates increasing, and deviation in classroom scores shrinking. In surveys given to students by the Citizen Schools organization, they noted that they had much more confidence in problem solving and felt better about their skill sets.nvpro

“NVBOTS has been a partner genuinely making a difference since day one,” said Megan Bird, executive director of Citizen Schools Massachusetts. “Not only have they donated 3D printers, curriculum and their time on a regular basis, they are inspiring our students to learn about technology, teamwork and leadership in a way that will stay with them throughout their life. This is why NVBOTS team members are consistently awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award and other accolades.”

The NVPro, while user-friendly and allowing students and teachers to print jobs from anywhere at anytime, is also the first end-to-end 3D printing system that features automated part removal—a huge benefit as it saves so much time and hassle, and also means there is no need for an onsite operator. Meant for the educational system, the NVPro offers reliability, accessibility, and simplicity in use for schools. Find out morehere about the ongoing work between NVBOTS and Citizen Schools, as well as reading the accompanying case study. You can also follow NVBOTS on Twitter @NVBOTS as well as at LinkedIn.

How Cisco supports tomorrow’s STEM superstars

At Citizen Schools, corporations committed to giving back to their communities play a large role in allowing us to bring our program to thousands of students across the country, and we’re fortunate to be working with one such company that takes CSR seriously: Cisco Systems, Inc.

The term, “corporate social responsibility” might sound like another boardroom buzzword at first, but it means a lot to us at Citizen Schools. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is defined as “a business approach that contributes to sustainable development by delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for all stakeholders.” CSR has been getting a lot of attention in recent years as a means for corporations to connect with their stakeholders and build trust with the public.

Cisco uses technology to meet some of society’s biggest challenges, including the STEM achievement gap. Tae Yoo, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Cisco, said in the New York Times that Cisco is strengthening the ranks of a new generation of thinkers and doers.

“We are harnessing the power of technology to launch a generation of problem solvers,” says Yoo. “They are being taught to innovate like technologists, think like entrepreneurs and act as social change agents.”

Cisco employees worldwide make time to volunteer, donating their time and money to improving the quality of life for those around them. But the spirit of giving doesn’t stop there. Cisco is also a valuable resource for nonprofit organizations in every stage of development, investing in innovative, early-stage solutions to successful nationwide program. We are thankful to be on the receiving end of Cisco’s generosity when it comes to volunteers, product grants and financial support.

Citizen Schools has partnered with Cisco since 2010, and we’re proud to be working with them again this year. In that time, 3,705 Cisco employees have volunteered with Citizen Schools and US2020. Together, they’ve completed nearly 47,000 hours of service. The Cisco Foundation has supported both Citizen Schools and MIND Research Institute to use MIND’s ST Math instructional software at several of our campuses in Illinois and Massachusetts. The goal is to offer more personalized and more efficient academic support during the expanded day for students. We’re continuing to implement it this school year.

Cisco provides charitable organizations with the financial and technological resources they need to achieve their goals. Qualifying organizations large and small apply for access to the networking technology and equipment necessary to increase their capacity to serve a community, a nation or the world. These grants aren’t given to just anyone. Cisco gives preference to organizations working in its three issue focus areas of critical human needs (food, shelter, water and disaster response); K-8 education, and economic empowerment. Cisco also asks that these applicants use the S.M.A.R.T. metrics system (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) to ensure that each recipient has an actionable game plan and end goal.

Citizen Schools has grown a lot in recent years, thanks to support from companies like Cisco. In one year, we expanded from 10 schools in five states to 29 schools in six states. In 2015, we enrolled our 40,000th student. With the increased capacity to serve more schools, we’ve seen some exciting statistics. Citizen Schools students perform three months ahead of their peers in math, on a yearly basis. 71 percent of Citizen Schools students graduate high school and 61 percent of CS alumni enroll in college. The impact is clear: Citizen Schools programs make a day-to-day difference for our students.

We’re learning something new every year. We’re achieving goals and setting new ones. Thanks to companies like Cisco and all of our corporate partners, we’re able to continue working to expand and elevate youth education. We know it’s essential to the future of discovery and innovation. That’s why we’re proud to be partners again in 2017, closing the opportunity gap one student at a time.

Congratulations to the Presidential Volunteer Service Award Winners!

As we say here at Citizen Schools, it takes a village to serve our students. Among the leaders in that village are volunteer Citizen Teachers, who play a critical role in introducing students to engaging opportunities and diverse careers. During the 2015-2016 school year, over 2,300 Citizen Teachers taught more than 1,000 apprenticeships, impacting over 5,300 students across our network.

psa eagle

Each year, The President of the United States recognizes those who volunteer for causes across the country through the President’s Volunteer Service Awards. Hundreds of our Citizen Teachers are among the recipients.  For some, this is their very first honor. For others, it is part of a collection of Presidential Awards, representing the many semesters they have returned to teach. For all, this is a testament to their civic leadership.

This year, 398 volunteer Citizen Teachers received recognition from the President at the gold, silver, and bronze award levels. Each level corresponds to a specific level of engagement - and reflects an incredible investment in the students we serve:

  • 67 Gold award winners for teaching four of the past four semesters
  • 83 Silver award winners for teaching three of the past four semesters
  • 248 Bronze award winners for teaching two of the past four semesters

Volunteers from our National Leadership Partners (Biogen, Cisco, Cognizant, and Fidelity Investments) accounted for 45  awards, and 80 of our partner companies were represented in the overall total.

We are celebrating these volunteers around the network throughout the summer at WOW!s and at Citizen Teacher social events. This award is a meaningful way to reinforce the impact Citizen Teachers have on the community, and a way to show our appreciation for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and passion with students.

Please join us in celebrating their dedication!


Adam Richlin-Freelance Cinematographer, NY Alex Lawing-UNC,NC Allie Temkin-Common Threads,IL Amanda Kaufman-US Environmental Protection Agency,NC Amelia Molina-TX Andrea Folmer-Bank of America,NC Anne Bowie-WilmerHale, LLP,MA Arthur Everett-EMC,NC Bargavi Errabolu-Deloitte,IL Bill Good-Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization,MA Bin Wu-SanDisk,CA Brenda williams-Russell Williams Group,IL Bridget Tomes-Fidelity,IL Christopher Haid- New Valence Robotics,MA Cindy Gabriel-Deloitte, IL Cody Spencer-Chicago Public Schools,IL Dana Lindberg-Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky + Popeo PC,MA Daniel Oldman-EMC,NC David Schneier-Fidelity,NC Donna Fontana-Fidelity,NY Douglas Campbell-retired teacher, CA Ed Lau-Microsoft,NC Elena Satraitis-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Emily Biegner-Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers,MA Emily Hodge-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA Erin Buckman-Credit Suisse,NC Francis Jang-SanDisk,CA Genevieve Aguilar Reardon-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA George Mykulak-WilmerHale, LLP,MA Giovanni Green-Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza,NY Hannah Hannawi-Credit Suisse,NC Hio Lam Lao-Deloitte Consulting, LLP,IL Hong Zou-EMC,NC Jacob Rea-Fidelity,NC Jacqueline Mantica-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA James Reid-Credit Suisse,NC Jamie Dickerson-Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky + Popeo PC,MA Jared Cohen-WilmerHale,MA Jean-Yves Ntamwemezi-Microsoft,MA Jennifer Blood-Freelance,NY Jerry Diehl-EMC,NC Joe Darko-Microsoft,NC Joel Burke-Kittehface Software,TX Josh Glazer-Bank of America,NY Kari Shearer-Shell Oil Company,TX Katherine Kelley-Digitas,MA Kelley Coyne-Women's Audio Mission,CA Kelsey Kreamer-Nielsen,NY Kerry Laidlaw,CA Leora Rodenstein-WilmerHale,MA Lisa Berkshire-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Liston Rice-Shell Oil Company,TX Madison Gardner-Credit Suisse,NC Marty Stanton-Cisco,NYNJ Meeghan Salcedo-Cognizant,NJNJ Michael Bevilacqua-WilmerHale,MA Philip ArmstrongBank of America, NC Robert P.Mersereau-Aldrich Astronomical Society,MA Roland Labana-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Rosema Hermano-EMC,CA Ryan Futrell-Fidelity,NC Sanjay Kadiwala-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Sean Anderson-Fidelity,IL Sonya Johnson-CPCC STARS Alliance,NC StevenCooper-SanDisk,CA Steven Garza-Boy Scout of America,TX Susan Freeman-Northeastern University,MA


Adaeze Ezeh-Synaptics Inc.,CA

Adam Harbour-SanDisk,CA

Aditya Jeet-Google, NY

Ahmed Elsayed-Hikvision Usa, Inc. IL

Albert Cheng-ADEA NYU Chapter,NY

Alena Golovchenkol-Ernst & Young LLP,NY

Alexandra Ross-EPA,NC

Alexandra RiewerMotorola Mobility,IL

Alfred Reed-Bank of America, NC

Alice Saiki-Cisco,CA

Alice McCormack-ExpressJet Airlines,TX

Alison Dally-Bank of America,NYNJ

Amanda Marvelle-Biogen,NC

Amanda McKibbin-Biogen,NC

Amber Haskell-MFS Investment Management,MA

Ana Linton-Intralinks,NYNJ

Anant Shukla-Google,NYNJ

Andrew Puckett-Fidelity,NC

Angela Tessin-Cisco,CA

Anil Koluguri-EMC Corporation,NC

Ann Guilinger-athena health,MA

Anne Coulombe-Intralinks,MA

Annie Martin-Athena Health,MA

Anthony Furino-Newberry Campa Architects,TX

Anya Estrov-Google,NY

Arbora Malushi-Northern Trust Bank,BOSMA

Arturo Perez-EF Education,MA


Ashley McFarland-Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated,NC

Barbara Serven-Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services,MA

Bashir Afzaliself-employedCA

Bernardine Bernard-BNY Mellon,MA

Beth Bond-ForGoods,IL

Bill Joyce-Fidelity,MA

Brad Seiler-Square,NY

Bradley Mertes-American Eagle Airlines,IL

Brandon Duncan-Keller Williams Preferred Realty,NC

Brent Ramsey-Massachusetts Department of Transportation,MA

Brian Dailey Eaton-Vance Management Inc,MA

Brian Peltonen-Fidelity Investments,MA

Britton Picciolini-Google,IL

Brooke Callahan-American Express,NYNJ

Brian Towey-Cognizant,NC

Caio Mattos-CapitalOne,NY

Caitlin Cook-ExpressJet Airlines,IL

Carla KupeArion-National Organization of Black Law Enforcement - Chicago Metropolitan Chapter,IL

Carol Rosenberg-Google,NYNJ

Catherine Lee-NYU College of Dentistry,NYNJ

Cayla Yang-EMC,MA

Celeste Brown-Schweitzer Fellowship,NC

Charles Knipper-Deloitte Tax LLP,IL

Chavi PayalSharma-YW Boston,MA

Chi Le-Wayfair LLC,MA

Chivas Nambiar-Verizon Corporation,MA

Chris Otto-Otto Family Foundation,IL

Christine Okike-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,NYNJ

Christopher McIndoe-Stoneturn Group, LLP-MA

Chuck Shaw-Google,NYNJ

Cindy Song-Ernst & Young,NYNJ

Claire Keady-Bank of America,MA

Clarke Egerton-Fidelity,NC

Clementina Nunez-City of Houston,TX

Dan Burton-Google,CA

Danielle Hurlburt-Ernst + Young,NYNJ

Darrell Ford-DRF Industries, LLC,TX

David Dillon-VMware,MA

David Landry-Verizon Corporation,MA

David Saff-Google,MA

Dawn Webb-Bank of America,NC


Dennis Arrowsmith-Houston Grand Opera,TX

Derek Lin-NYU School of Medicine,NY

Devika Dhawan-American Express,NY

Diana BatistaLa-Economica Meat Market,MA

Dmitriy Zemel-Pratt Institute,NY

Donna Steadman-Hines Inc.,TX

Dwayne Jones-Fox Sports Network,NC

Edina Lemo-Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.,NY

Eli Wylen-Google,MA

Elizabeth Fargo=Intralinks,NY

Elle Song-Microsoft,NC

Eric Biegeleisen-Broadmeadow Capital,MA

Farah Ali-Citizen Schools Club,NY

Fernanda Sanovicz-School of Visual Arts, NYNJ

Forrest Pieper-New Valence Robotics,MA

Frankee Bullock-Fidelity,NC

Gabrielle Bailey-Wayfair LLC,MA

Gilbert Chaidez-Unity Care,CA

Gina Coletti-Northern Trust,MA

Giriraj Vaithulu Gopal-Cognizant,NYNJ

Godffrey David brown-Oakland School Police,CA

Grant Brown-UBS Financial Services - NYIL

Griffin Mueller-Cisco,NC

Harry Bullen-Google,NYNJ

HilarySmith-Citizen Schools,CA

Hirashini Shanmugaraj-Google,CA

Jack Fleming-Athena Health,MA

Jake Jagust-Deloitte Tax LLP,IL

Jake Sherin-Motorola Mobility,IL

James Woody-Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated,NC

James Shipley-National Amateur Sports,NC

Jane Parris-Phillips Exeter Academy,MA

Janelle Arthur-H.E.R. Heart Foundation INC,NY

Javar Christian-Bank of America,NC

Jeanne Harran-Intralinks,MA

Jeffrey Easton-Fidelity,NYNJ

Jennifer DiCola-Fidelity,IL

Jeremy Eisemann-Liberty Mutual Group,MA

Jesse Parker-The Nieslen Company,NY

Jessica Lyssy Perry Homes,TX

Ji YunHan-NYU College of Dentistry,NY

Jin SupShin-NYU College of Dentistry,NY

John Studley Jr-EXOS/Google,MA

John Bliss-SCI Consulting Group,CA

John Spreer-Lending Club,CA

John Gagne-United Continental Holdings, Inc.,IL

John Lisy-UBS Financial Services,IL

Jonathan Tang-Aztec Technologies,MA

Jonathan Calhoun-Bank of America,NC

Jonathan Kwan-Raytheon Company,MA

Josefa Palma-Legal & General,IL

Joseph Dunn-Fidelity,NC

Jovan Oliver-New Jersey Institute of Technology,NJ


Julie Palomba-Amplify,NJ

Justyna Malz,MA

Kadia Tubman-Nielsen,NY

Karen L.Pickerill-PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP,NY

Kavita Ramachandran,NJ

Kaydene Bennett-Pricewaterhouse Coopers,NY

Kelly Petrich-Cisco,CA

Kemena Brooks-Laurel Street Residential,NC

Kenneth Wade-Corvisa,IL

Kenon Fachon-Wayfair LLC,MA

Kevin Cullen-Fidelity,MA

Keyna Chow-Ropes & Gray,CA

Khalil Um'rani-North Side Credit Unions,IL

Kimberly Amick-Biogen,NC

Kiza Forgie-AIA - Houston Chapter,TX

Koren Underdue,NC

Kristen Thomas-Wayfair LLC,MA

Kristen Carroll-Citizen's Schools (Baylor College of Medicine,)TX

Laila Ameri-WilmerHale,MA

Lauren Johnson-Common Threads,IL

Lea Kilraine-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Lisa Xia-Nielsen,NY

Lori Egan-Bank of America,MA

Louise Bhavnani-City of Charlotte,NC

Lucero Luna Miranda-Girls Who Code,NY

Lucy Vasserman-Google,NY

Lyndon Tran-Citizen Schools Club NYUCD,NY

Lynne Crawford-Cisco,CA

Madelyn Herzog-FoodCorps,MA

Manali Mehta-Shell Oil Company,TX

Mari Badger-Self Employed,MA

Mario Calzetta-ExpressJet Airlines,TX

Mary Ann Fiscus-Motorola Mobility,IL

Mary T.Howard-Soaring Birds,MA

Mat WolffA-IA - Houston Chapter,TX

Max Simchowitz-Capital One,NY

Megan Wagner-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL

Megan Petrik-Bank of America,NC

MeredithMcWeeney-Citizen Schools,CA

Mical Nobel-Athena Health,MA

Michael Merritt-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL

Michael Riley-Goulston & Storrs,MA

Miguel Betancourt-Rice University,TX

Morgan Matthews-Ernst & Young, NY

Najla Long-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP,NY

Nathaly Lozano-Verizon Corporation,MA

Nathania Reid-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,NY

Nedum Aniemeka-Project Exploration,IL

Niccole Marcial-Colgate-Palmolive,NJ

Nicole Mahoney-Lending Club,CA

NicoleBrown-LS3P Associates LTD,NC

Nikhil Nathwani-Microsoft,MA

Omoyeni Makindeomo-Yeni LLC,NY

Onalie Sotak-Google,MA

Oscar Teunissen-PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP,NY

Paris Cherry-YWCA,MA

Patrice Tanti-ThermoFisher Scientific,CA

Patrick Kennedy-Salem Access Television,MA

Patrick Gries-Motorola Mobility,IL

Paul Truong-SanDisk,CA

Pauline Vogl-Cisco,CA

Pell Osborn-Motion Art,MA

Peni Garber-ABRY Partners,MA

Praagyan Pokharel-VMware,MA

Prasanna Pilla-VMware,MA

Rachel Pollinger-Cambridge Associates,MA

Rachel Shack,WilmerHale-MA

Rachel Madsen-Legal & General Investment Management America,IL

Rajitha Chaparala-Intralinks, MA

Raquelle Kaye-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,NY

Rebecca Moles-Eaton Vance Management Inc.,MA

Rebecca Tang-Google,NY

Rebecca Carrizosa-Ropes & Gray,CA

Ricardo Martinez-Martinez Architects,TX

Richard Achee-Google,NYNJ

Richard Wolny-Motorola Mobility,IL

Richelle Mechenbier-Xylem Inc.,NC

Robert Mersereau Jr.-No 9 Park Restaurant,MA

Robert Taylor-Liberty Mutual,MA

Robert Ford-DRF Industries, LLC,TX

Robert Johnson-Tabernacle of Prayer For All People Inc.,NY

Rodrigo Chandia-Google Inc.,MA

Roger Pease-Enbase Solutions LLC,TX

Rosaland Hopkins-Fidelity, NC

Ruxandra Calin-EY,NY

Saba Jangda-Citizens School Club, NYUCD NY

Sabiya Bacchus-Munroe-Fidelity,NY

Sabrina Pham-Citizen Schools Club NYUCD,NY

Sam Polyak-Fidelity Investments,MA

Sameer Ahmed=WilmerHale,MA

Sara Li-Fidelity,MA

Sara Loudon-Ernst & Young LLP,NY

Sarah Michael-Baylor Pediatric Student Association,TX

Scarlet Vaickus-Motorola Mobility,IL

Seth Conyers-Northern Trust,IL

Shailesh Kumar-United Continental Holdings, Inc.,IL

Sheri Brazley-Common Threads,IL

Shirley Wells-Ernst & Young LLP,NY

Shoun Hill-The Associated Press,NY

Shruti Nagarajan-Cambridge Associates,RI

Simon Pilecki-King's Chapel,MA

Simon Kingaby-Piedmont Natural Gas,NC

Stephanie Moreno=Baylor College of Medicine,TX

Stephen Cross=Fidelity,MA

Stephen Friedenthal-Cisco,MA

Steven De Nicola-Nielsen,NY

Sudharsan Chandraprakash-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL

Susan Gronbeck-US Trust,NY

Tracy Callahan-Biogen,MA

Tracy Horridge-Thermo Fisher Scientific,MA

Tristan Foley-Goulston & Storrs,MA

Tyrone Hall-Durham County Department of Public Health,NC

Valerie Young-athenahealth,MA

Victoria Gemme-New England Baptist Hospital,MA

Vincent Armentano-Northeastern University,CT

Vincent Passafiume-United Continental Holdings, Inc.,IL


Ya QingChen-NYUCD,NY


Yolanda Brewer-National Organization of Black Law Enforcement - Chicago Metropolitan Chapter,IL

Zach Fields-Mintz Levin,MA

Zach Cloyd-Ropes + Gray,MA

Zachary Zuniga-Scribe America,CA


Alexandra Reynolds-WilmerHale,MA Allison Levin-Fidelity,IL Anne-Marie Stevenson-Latta Plantation Nature Center,NC Ashok Moghe-Cisco,CA Benjamin Lucas-Yeshiva University,NY Bijal Shah-Credit Suisse, NC Bob France-SanDisk, CA Bradley Wynn-Legal & General Investment Management America,IL Brandi Williams-Polished Pebbles,IL Brendan Nolan-Piedmont Natural Gas,NC Brian Smith-Dominion Solution Corporation,TX Carol Lenox-US Environmental Protection Agency,NC Carrie Isaacman-Independent,NYNJ Christine O'Donnell-Bank of America,NYNJ Christine Style-Communications with Style,CA Claire Weber,CA Coleman Poag-EMC,NC Corey Cronin-City National Bank,CA Cory Spinney-Digitas,MA Daniel Burns-Deloitte,IL Dimitri Alves-Lockheed Martin,NJNJ Doug Leonard-Coca-Cola Bottling Co.,NC Douglas Reagan-Cisco,NJNJ Emily Thomas-Rice University,TX Eric Teasdale-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA Eric Friedman-eSkill Corporation,NY Eric Frackleton-Microsoft,MA Ethan Apter-Google,MA FadiAfa Al-Refaee-SanDisk,CA Harriet Hoder-Wilmerhale,MA Itzik Gilboa-SanDisk,CA James Hershberger-Houston Grand Opera,TX Jason Lee-Intel Corporation,CA Jeffrey Whitley-Shell Oil,TX Jody Weber-Bank of America Corporation,MA John Ryan-Fidelity,MA Jorge Nava Piedmont-Natural Gas,NC Julia Wrobel-Columbia University,NYNJ Julia Conner-Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department,NC Kaela O'Donnell Belk, Inc,NC Kate Mohorn-SAS Institute,NC Kelly Flook-Thermo Fisher Scientific,CA Kenneth Barron-Fidelity,NC Kesha Diamond-Apthorp Pharmacy,NYNJ Kim Kiesow-EMC,NC Lauren Riley,MA Leah Segal-WilmerHale,MA Luke Fernandes-Legal and General Investment Management,IL Marcos Guerrero-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL MARK FULLMAN-DELOITTE TAX LLP,IL Meghan Bourke-Legal & General Investment Management America,IL Mica Warton-YWCA,MA Michael Walker-Alexander/Ryan Marine & Safety,TX Michael Silver,IL Monica Hauser-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL MorganMoss-New Valence Robotics,MA Moriska Selby-The Correctional Association of New York,NYNJ Niamh Fitzgerald,IL Nisha Saboo-Deloitte Tax LLP,IL Nykeya Woods-True Star Foundation,IL Paschell Sutton-Jersey City Board of Education,NY Penny Temple,NY Qian Cheng-ADEA NYU Chapter,NY Rachel McIntosh-Kastrinsky-ASPPH/EPA,NC Rachel Stout-Houston Public Library,TX Rebecca Holub-Google,NY Reginald Liger-Cisco,NC Roy Fralin-Fidelity Investments,NC Seth Moskowitz-WilmerHale,MA Shira Schindel-Litographs,NY Shruti Gopinathan-Johnson Controls,CA Shuran Liang-Citizen Schools Club NYUCD,NY Siva Krishna Titti-Cognizant,NYNJ Susie Forbath-Athena Health,MA Swati Gokhale-Cognizant,CA Tej Gokhale,CA Tiffany Feng-Digitas,MA Travis Smith-Shell Oil Company,TX Vanessa Gaskin-Ernst & Young LLP,NY Victor Chow-NYUCD,NY WaiMay Chee-PwCNY,NY William-Merritt-Bank of America,NC Yana Malysheva-Google,MA Yasmilka Clase,NY

Congratulations to the Presidential Volunteer Service Award Winners!

As we say here at Citizen Schools, it takes a village to serve our students. Among the leaders in that village are volunteer Citizen Teachers, who play a critical role in introducing students to engaging opportunities and diverse careers. During the 2014-2015 school year, over 2,300 Citizen Teachers taught more than 1,000 apprenticeships, impacting over 5,300 students across our network.

psa eagle

Each year, The President of the United States recognizes those who volunteer for causes across the country through the President’s Volunteer Service Awards. Hundreds of our Citizen Teachers are among the recipients.  For some, this is their very first honor. For others, it is part of a collection of Presidential Awards, representing the many semesters they have returned to teach. For all, this is a testament to their civic leadership.

This year, 422 volunteer Citizen Teachers received recognition from the President at the gold, silver, and bronze award levels. Each level corresponds to a specific level of engagement - and reflects an incredible investment in the students we serve:

  • 61 Gold award winners for teaching four of the past four semesters
  • 70 Silver award winners for teaching three of the past four semesters
  • 291 Bronze award winners for teaching two of the past four semesters

Volunteers from our National Leadership Partners (Biogen, Cisco, Cognizant, Fidelity Investments, and Google) accounted for 66 awards, and 80 of our partner companies were represented in the overall total.

We are celebrating these volunteers around the network throughout the summer at WOW!s and at Citizen Teacher social events. This award is a meaningful way to reinforce the impact Citizen Teachers have on the community, and a way to show our appreciation for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and passion with students.

Please join us in celebrating their dedication!


Ailey Crow, CA - Pivotal Software, Inc.Albert Ching, CA - Google Alfonso Perez, MA - New Valence Robotics Amelia Molina, TX Andrea Folmer, NC - Bank of America Anne Bowie, MA - WilmerHale, LLP Arthur Everett, NC - EMC Arun Joseph, NC - EMC Becki Holub, NY - Google Bill Good, MA - Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization Bin Wu, CA - SanDisk Brian Smith, TX - Dominion Solution Corporation Carol Lenox, NC - US Environmental Protection Agency Christopher Haid, MA - New Valence Robotics Coleman Poag, NC - EMC Daniel Oldman, NC - EMC Donna Fontana, NY - Fidelity Investments Douglas Campbell, CA Douglas Reagan, NJ - Cisco Ed Lau, NC - Microsoft Emily Hodge, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP Emily Thomas, TX - Rice University Eric Frackleton, MA - Microsoft Eric Teasdale, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP Erin Buckman, NC - Credit Suisse Gayle Moberg, NY – GDM Market Solutions Harry Bullen, NY - Google Hong Zou, NC - EMC Jacqueline Mantica, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP James Reid, NC - Credit Suisse Jerry Diehl, NC - EMC Jesse Nocon, MA - Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization Joe Darko, NC - Microsoft Joseph Eveillard, MA - Cambridge Adventure Day Camp Josh Glazer, NY – Bank of America Katherine Kelley, MA - Digitas Kelley Coyne, CA - Women's Audio Mission Kelly Flook, CA - Thermo Fisher Scientific Kerry Laidlaw, CA Kimone Gooden, CA - Cisco Kirstin Frazell, NY - Facebook Leanne Measroch, NC - Microsoft Linda Lazor, CA MacCalvin Romain, MA - Digitas Martin Stanton, NJ - Cisco Melanie Closs, NY – The Other Side Michael Bevilacqua, MA - WilmerHale, LLP Neil Jacobs, MA - WilmerHale, LLP Philip Armstrong, NC - Bank of America Prateek Sachdeva, CA - Oracle Rachel Stout, TX - Houston Public Library Rachele Louis, CA - Gensler Rebecca Dodder, NC - US Environmental Protection Agency Robert P. Mersereau, MA - Aldrich Estronomical Society Rosema Hermano, CA - EMC Ruth Gitlin, NY – Angelo, Gordon & Co. Shivani Mehta, NJ - Johnson & Johnson Sonya Johnson, NC - CPCC STARS Alliance Susan Dickey, CA - Google Victoria Ho, CA - Google William MacKrell, NC - SAS Institute


Adam Richlin, NY

Aisha Davis, NC - Microsoft

Alex Lawing, NC - UNCC

Amanda Kaufman, NC - US Environmental Protection Agency

Ana Lopez, MA - Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky + Popeo PC

Andree Fryar, NC - Wells Fargo / Wachovia

Angela Berry, NC - City of Charlotte

Anne-Marie Stevenson, NC - Latta Plantation Nature Center

Aric Sangruchi, CA - Space Systems/Loral

Audrey Hoiles, MA - Cambridge Associates

Aya Rothkopf, CA - Space Systems/Loral

Bara Reyna, TX - NASA

Benjamin Eld, MA - Digitas

Bill Stitson, MA - Trip Advisor, LLC

Brian Conley, MA - Microsoft

Brianna Muhlenkamp, TX - Shell Oil Company

Chris Casanova, NC - Microsoft Corporation

Cindy Gabriel, IL - Deloitte

Cody Spencer, IL - Chicago Public Schools

Daniel Davison, NY - Bank of America

David Konczal, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

David Rahmani, TX - Shell Oil Company

Erika Schroeder, NY - Pratt Institute

Ethan Apter, MA - Google

Faris Werr, NC - Wells Fargo / Wachovia

Genevieve Aguilar Reardon, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Gifty Mansaray, MA - Edwards Middle School

Giovanni Green, NY

Hall Cherville, NY - AB

Jared Cohen, MA - WilmerHale, LLP

Jean-Yves Ntamwemezi, MA - Microsoft

Jennifer Blood, NY

Jocasta Conyers-Johnson, TX - The Women's Fund for Health Education and Research

Jody Weber, MA - Bank of America

Justin Forman, NY - Google

Karen Nee, MA - Bank of America

Kesha Diamond, NY - Apthorp Pharmacy

Kiara Byrd, IL - Project Exploration

Kim Kiesow, NC - EMC

Kweku Ulzen, NC - Microsoft

La Rue Ragan, CA - Raven Works Field Sports Ministry

Lauren Kupersmith, MA - Goodwin Procter LLP

Leora Rodenstein, MA - WilmerHale, LLP

Lisa Berkshire, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

Mark Melfi, NC - Fidelity Investments

Martin Lopez Diaz, Jr., CA - LifeLong Medical Care

Megan Petrik, NC - Bank of America

Micaela Warton, MA - YWCA Boston

Michelle Hocking, CA - Google

Molly Berman, NY - Planned Parenthood

Nanelle Napp, NC - Bank of America

Olubukola Ashaolu, NY - National Employment Law Project

Onalie Sotak, MA - Google

Rachel Klooz, NY - Google

Richard Carey, MA - Thermo Fisher Scientific

Robert Mersereau Jr., MA - No 9 Park Restaurant

Robert Shames, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Roland Labana, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

Roy Fralin, NC - Fidelity Investments

Ryan Futrell, NC - Fidelity Investments

Samantha Powers, MA - Microsoft

Sanjay Kadiwala, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

Scott McConnell, MA - Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Sowji Karumuri, NC - EMC

Susan Freeman, MA - Northeastern University

Tanisha Myers, NC - Wells Fargo / Wachovia

Tayeb Karim, MA - Google

Valerie Peicher, TX - Baylor College of Medicine

William Davis, NC - Credit Suisse

William Merritt, NC - Bank of America

Giving 100% with a Cisco Volunteer

Cisco Citizen Teacher Reggy Lewis sits with his Future of Food apprentices.
Cisco Citizen Teacher Reggy Lewis sits with his Future of Food apprentices.

Reggy Liger tries to live by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s advice to be successful, which includes kindness to children, and leaving lasting improvement on the world around him. He works towards both as a Cisco employee and as a volunteer Citizen Teacher in Durham, North Carolina. Reggy is living with a mission to give back.

A deeply humble person, Reggy tells us he doesn’t view volunteering as something for which he should receive credit. “I always tell people, especially when it comes to volunteering, this is not something I want credit for,” says  Reggy. “I don’t think that’s altruism. Whenever it comes to giving back, I try to be altruistic in what I do. I give back because it’s the right thing to do.”

We celebrate Reggy as our April Citizen Teacher of the Month for his inspiring work at Neal Middle School.

Meet Reggy...

Why do you volunteer as a Citizen Teacher?

It goes back to family. I always want to better those that come behind me. Everything starts when you’re a child, your values and beliefs. It’s very important that we give students aspirations and role models to live up to and aspire to. I love volunteering. As a human, it is our responsibility to give back. It’s the only way we are going to progress as a species.

What apprenticeships have you taught?

Reggy stands with the other Citizen Teachers of the Future of Food apprenticeship.
Reggy stands with the other Citizen Teachers of the Future of Food apprenticeship.

I taught the Future of Food apprenticeship. That was my first experience with Citizen Schools. This semester I am doing my own curriculum, The Science of Broadway. It is a project-based exploration of theatre-making. We will work on playwriting, choreography, design, and technical theater. The 21st-century skill we’re focusing on is collaboration and I wanted them to work not just on acting but the technical aspect.

What is your favorite WOW! moment?

I have a very outgoing personality. Because of my personality, I gravitate towards the quiet students and try to bring them out of their shells. It can be especially difficult for young women with the propaganda and expectations that exist as a female.

Reggy’s favorite WOW! moment involves student Jamiya during his first apprenticeship, The Future of Food. You can see the class website here.

We came into the 4th week activity where we were drawing... I drew a couple birds on her picture and that was the first time I saw her smile. Later, she walks up to me and pokes me on the shoulder. She said, “This is for you, Mr. Liger” and gave me her picture. That was when I knew I was impacting students’ lives. I actually keep the photo on my desk as a reminder.

A teacher shows a young student how to play the drum.
A teacher shows a young student how to play the drum.

What is your favorite way to connect with students?

On a level they understand. I have three younger siblings. I learned how to speak to young children and learned how to make them smile. It’s that moment where they realize they are able to do more than they thought they were capable of.

After every lesson, I have the students stand on their chairs and repeat back to me, “I am special. I am unique. I can do anything. I can be anything.” It starts to stick with them.

Once they go out of their comfort zones, that’s when beautiful things happen.

What advice do you have for Citizen Teachers?

The best advice I can give them is give it 100% of what you have. It is difficult to do that as a professional with outside responsibilities. But children can smell when you’re not in it. Pump your passion, your joy into that experience and make that experience one of a kind.

To change lives, you have to change yourself. Give it 100%.

Reggy would like to thank the following people for his great experiences at Citizen Schools:

Future of Food

Carissa Lada

Dan Pisciottano

Lion King Experience

Michael Blunt

Katie Bratton

Joseph Yu

Kimberly Hull

Somer Hall

Citizen Schools

April Warren

Marlee Henderson

Mykia Richards

Tosh Seriguchi

Jin Ellington

Announcing 20 Extraordinary Citizens

Blog20Final Guest Post by CEO Steven Rothstein

As we set out to reflect on our first 20 years, we asked you to nominate Extraordinary Citizens: people who have made our last two decades possible, and whose work will inspire us through 20 more.

Now, It’s Time to recognize them. We selected our first batch, a group of 20 Extraordinary Citizens, who have worked tirelessly to help us reimagine public education and reach millions of low-income students across the country.  With your help, we’re thrilled to announce this list of visionaries, supporters, teachers, education leaders, students, and partners.

The list includes our founders, who first said It’s Time to involve every citizen we can as we strive to close the opportunity gap for students. It includes national supporters who believe that It’s Time to invest in actualizing the dreams of our students. It includes Citizen Teachers and AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows, who know It’s Time to invest in bringing real-world skills to tens of thousands of students.

We’re grateful for the role they’ve played in supporting our mission. They represent the thousands of Extraordinary Citizens who have made our first 20 years possible. Through our entire 20th anniversary season, we’ll continue to shine a light on others like them. Thank you for being a part of this community.

Andrew Balson, Citizen Schools Board Chair 2006-2014 and CEO, Match Beyond

Alex Belous, Education Portfolio Manager, Cisco Foundation, Cisco Public Benefit Investments

Anne Bowie, Citizen Teacher and Public Service Manager, WilmerHale

Marsha Feinberg, Citizen Schools Board Chair 1996-2001, Founder and CEO, Beacon Academy Cisco Bill Joyce, Citizen Teacher, Fidelity Investments

Tony Kingsley, Chairman, Biogen Foundation

Woodrow McCutchen, Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

Tulaine Montgomery, Citizen Schools Founding Staff Member, Partner, New Profit Inc.

Sherif Nada, Citizen Schools Board Chair, 2001-2006, Retired President, Fidelity Brokerage Group

Nicole Perdue, Of Counsel, Perdue & Kidd, L.L.P, Citizen Schools Texas Advisory Board Chair Board

Ned Rimer, Faculty Director, Health Sector Management Program, Lecturer & Executive in Residence, School of Management, Boston University, Citizen Schools Co-Founder

MacCalvin Romain, Citizen Schools Student Alumnus 2000-2003, Senior Technology Analyst, DigitasLBI

Yaritza Sanchez, Citizen Schools Student Alumna, McCormack Middle School, 2007-2010; Stonehill College, Class of 2018

Steven Schwartz, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer, Cognizant

Eric Schwarz, Citizen Schools Co-Founder and former CEO

Moriska Selby, AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow Alumna, Citizen Schools Campus Director and Managing Director of Programs in Massachusetts; Education Leadership Doctoral Candidate at Harvard Graduate School of Education

Wendy Spencer, CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service

Larry Summers, Citizen Schools Board Chair 2014-present, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University

Megan Webb, Citizen Schools Campus Director, 2007-2013, Principal, Orchard Gardens K-8 School

John Werner, Citizen Schools Founding Staff Member, Head of Innovation and New Ventures, Camera Culture Group, MIT Media Lab

In Service,


How I Helped Middle School Students Make a Difference in Their Community

This blog post was originally published on Cisco's Corporate Social Responsibility blog.

By Stephen Liem, IT Director, Global Quality and Support Services at Cisco

Stephen and his apprenticeship students at their end-of-semester WOW event, a Citizen Schools tradition where students teach back what they learned to teachers, parents, and community members.

There is no limit to what education can bring. It opens up many opportunities that otherwise may not be available.

In the past 10 weeks I‘ve had the privilege of teaching journalism to the middle school students in Joseph George School in East Jan Jose, California. Cisco has been partnering with Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization, to deliver after school educational programs to low-income schools across the country.

Citizen Schools aims to prevent students from dropping out of high school through its Extended Learning Time (ELT) model, which provides after-school mentoring and support to low-performing middle schools. Volunteer professionals, or “Citizen Teachers,” teach 10-week after-school apprenticeships on topics they are passionate about, from blogging to filmmaking to robotics.

On average the schools Citizen Teachers visit do 300 hours less of after school programming compared to their counterparts. In East San Jose, where the graduation rate is at 79%, providing more meaningful educational programs has certainly helped not just the students themselves but also the community.

As a “Citizen Teacher” with the nonprofit Citizen Schools, Stephen Liem helped sixth graders create their own newspaper

In my journalism class, students in the sixth grade learned how to interview and collect data, how to write an article well, and how to express and publish their opinions honestly and truthfully. Collectively they decided on the name of the newspaper – the East San Jose News — and the subject of their stories.

The results were both eye opening and touching at the same time.

Erika and Tracy, for example, wrote that while they do not necessarily like to wear a school uniform, nevertheless it is important to wear one, because, “it protects you from gangs!” The story describes the reality they often must face outside of school, a reality that under normal circumstance they should not have to live with. It is a touching statement.

Christopher in the editorial section wrote about the importance of voicing your opinion to make a difference: “School could be cooler if you just speak up and ask for what you want. Sometimes your answer will be ‘no’ or ‘maybe,’ ‘just wait,’ or straight up “yes.’ But you will never find out unless you speak up and make your voice heard.” They may be in sixth grade, but the students absolutely understand that they can contribute to their community and they are ready to make that difference.

I enjoyed every minute I spent with my students. It was an educational process for me, but most important, I believe it was a tremendous educational experience for the students. In our country, where inequality in access to education and income disparity exist, I applaud Cisco and Citizen Schools’ effort to level the playing field for the sake of our future generation. I am glad that through Cisco, I have the opportunity to give back to my community.

Cisco employees are among Citizen Schools’ largest group of Citizen Teachers – 184 employees have taught 89 apprenticeships – and Cisco has provided more than $2 million in cash and product grants to the organization since 2009. Learn more about the partnership between Cisco and Citizen Schools.

Blending Learning Pilots Take Off with Cisco Foundation and MIND Research Institute

st math photo 3Meeting every student’s academic needs in the classroom can be challenging but is essential to their success. Many of the public middle schools Citizen Schools partners with are reaching students who are academically all over the map, with many falling below grade level. In order to provide customized support to the highest-need students, we began “blended learning” pilots this year focused on core math instruction. Blended learning, which pairs computer-aided instruction with face-to-face classroom methods, enables Citizen Schools’ staff in four pilot programs across the country to offer more personalized and more efficient academic support during the expanded learning day. Partnered with Cisco Foundation and MIND Research Institute, the blending learning math program utilizes Spatial-Temporal (ST) Math instructional software to focus on improving students’ math skills, with the aim of increasing student proficiency for long-term success.

st math photo 2Launched this September, over 350 students are utilizing the ST Math instructional software at four schools across the country. And after 3 months of implementing the pilots, the initial feedback and support from our school partners is positive.

At Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Roxbury, MA, Citizen Schools’ staff members are collaborating with teachers throughout the whole school day to align ST Math with the scope and sequence of their school day math lessons. The head of Orchard Gardens’ math department shared, “ST Math is a great tool and resource. It will be effective when used to review and practice what is being done in class".

On the other side of the country in Oakland, CA, Greenleaf Academy requested to expand and integrate the software for a small group of 5th graders after implementing it successfully with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.

st math photo 1In East Palo Alto, CA, partner school Cesar Chavez Academy, developed a special “small group” learning environment to offer additional time for English Language Learners who cannot access instruction as easily because of language barriers. Ricardo Benavidez, Community Relations Manager with Cisco, recently visited this school and commented, “With ST Math, students play animated games designed to increase math comprehension and proficiency while promoting student persistence and self-confidence to solve problems.”

Through pilots like ST Math and partnerships with organizations like Cisco and MIND Research Institute, Citizen Schools is able to provide customized learning experiences for students at all levels, ensuring they’re armed with the knowledge needed to succeed in high school, college, and the 21st century workforce.


“Example isn't another way to teach, it is the only way to teach”

From “Amazing Mazes” to “Life on Mars,” Citizen Teacher Haggai Mark has developed and taught a variety of computer science apprenticeships for over four years. His experience with Citizen Schools impacted his decision to transition from 30 years as an engineer to a full time Computer Science Curriculum Developer and teacher in California! Name: Haggai Mark

Title:  High School Computer Science Curriculum Developer and Teacher

What was the most recent apprenticeship you taught? A STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and programming apprenticeship I developed, called “Meet Me on Mars”. Students learned how to write a game/program using Scratch (developed at MIT) to simulate a simplified solar system, and a launch of a rocket from Earth to Mars.

How did you hear about Citizen Schools? Through work (I worked at Cisco Systems in San Jose, CA. Cisco is a National Leadership Partner of Citizen Schools).

Why do you think it's important to provide students with real-world, hands-on opportunities?

We as human beings learn a lot by doing, regardless of age. Exposing students to new areas of knowledge and new experiences is like opening windows for them, and letting the light shine in. Giving them hands-on opportunities and examples for doing things with this knowledge is like giving them the wings to fly through these windows.

As Albert Einstein said: “Example isn't another way to teach, it is the only way to teach." I think that Citizen Schools enables and supports this kind of mindset.

What surprised you most about the students and teaching experience?

An important insight I got after teaching different courses and multiple classes is that you never know exactly which “seeds” are going to fall on fertile ground and grow. In other words, in the complex interaction between your personality as a teacher, the material you are trying to teach, the ways you are teaching it, the students you are interacting with, the knowledge and interests they have, and their personality, it’s very hard to predict which “nuggets” of knowledge and skills are really going to take hold, and make an impact on them. And that’s why it’s important to try different ways and different things, and most importantly – persevere. Sometimes you think you are not reaching them and then they totally blow you away with their actions and insights!

What was the greatest "aha" or "WOW" moment during your time with Citizen Schools?

A couple of years ago I was teaching a STEM course called “Amazing Mazes”, which I had developed. The Amazing Mazes course teaches students to use computers to build mazes in a 2D plane (on the computer screen), create "maze walkers" (think, "mice"), and then teach them, using programming, to successfully navigate through these mazes (or "find the cheese", so to speak).

As the students build their maze, they can see both a “graphic representation” of the paths of the maze, and a “programmatic representation” of the maze, which is the collection of commands they are using. These are two very different representations and abstraction levels. And one question is: which of these forms is “really” the maze? It is hard to fully grasp these concepts in middle school.

As it turns out, one 7th grade girl in class got it! She took the list of commands (which is one form of abstraction) she used for building her maze, added new numbers to all her x-y coordinates within those commands, and re-ran her program to generate a new/shifted maze (a different form of abstraction)!

I’m not sure who was more pleased with the resulting new shape on the screen, I, because I was able to teach, or she, because she was able to learn! I guess we were both blown away.

What skills did you gain or develop by teaching the students?

I definitely learned how to plan for different levels and paces of student learning, in order to create differentiated learning. I also learned how to more effectively use educational tools and technologies to enhance interest and learning.

You’ve made a big transition in your career - from the corporate space into the public school system.  How did your work with Citizen Schools impact that transition?

Due to my unique experience in education, I was able to work with Citizen Schools to have enough flexibility to create STEM apprenticeships and teach them, with freedom to choose topics, educational technologies, and teaching techniques.It really allowed me to explore and validate my interests and capabilities, before making a career change. Education and teaching have been on my mind for many years, but as they say "life  happens when you make other plans" and I ended up doing Engineering for 30 years. When I had the opportunity to make a career change it was very natural for me to choose education.

What are you most excited about in your new role?

I love the fact that I will be doing both curriculum development, starting with designing three new Computer Science courses, and teaching them! I am excited about the opportunity to design curricula from scratch and validate their effectiveness through doing hands-on evaluation.

What advice would you give future volunteers?

Picking an area you are both knowledgeable and passionate about is key! Your interest and sense of excitement is “contagious” – it shows immediately, and usually “rubs off” onto the students. It is important to plan for your lessons, but you also need to be flexible, and be willing to seize learning moments, if and when they come, and they will come. The more connections you are able to make with and for the students between what you are teaching and what interests them (and what comes up spontaneously during the lessons), the better.

Learn more about volunteering with Citizen Schools here!

Congratulations to the 2014 Presidential Volunteer Service Award Winners!

The President of Citizen Schools, Emily McCann, uses the phrase "it takes a village" to demonstrate the amount of talent and dedication needed to create the impact that Citizen Schools has on students. Among the ‘village’ of talent and dedication are our volunteer Citizen Teachers. During the 2013-2014 school year there were over 2,500 Citizen Teachers leading about 1,000 apprenticeships, impacting over 4,900 middle school students across 7 states!   From September to May these volunteers give their time to middle school students, mentoring them on topics such as video game design, mock trial, stock market investments and more. After one semester in the classroom, hundreds of volunteers go on to teach again, for several semesters and even years in a row.

While we celebrate the end of the school year and thank our Citizen Teachers, there is one more individual that extends his gratitude for their service, the President of the United States. Each year, the President recognizes those who volunteer for a cause across the country with the President's Volunteer Service Award program.

This year, 375 Citizen Teachers were recognized by the President at the gold, silver and bronze levels. Each of the levels corresponds to an incredible amount of time inspiring students:

43 Gold award winners for teaching four out of the last four semesters

71 Silver award winners for teaching three out of the last four semesters

261 Bronze award winners for teaching two out of the last four semesters

Throughout the summer, volunteers received their awards at appreciation events across the country. Many companies and organizations have also recognized the great efforts of their employees at the appreciation events and internally.

Join us in celebrating these mentors for helping students to dream big and reach their full potential. In particular, we would like to thank the 43 gold level awardees who have made the commitment for four consecutive semesters to consistently impact students in their community. Congratulations on your accomplishments and impact on student’s lives! We thank you all for your service.


Emily Hodge, Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Jacqueline Mantica, Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Eric Teasdale, Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Scott McConnell, Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Timothy Bazzle, Goodwin Procter, LLP

Onalie Sotak, Google

Bill Good, Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization

Jesse Nocon, Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization

Brian Conley, Microsoft

Kyle Crawford, Mintz Levin Cohon Ferris Glovsky + Popeo PC

Anne Bowie, WilmerHale, LLP

Robert Mersereau Jr.

Robert P. Mersereau Sr.

New York

Donna Fontana, Fidelity Investments

Richard Mooney, CAW Afterschool Artworks

Ruth Gitlin, Angelo, Gordon and Co.

New Jersey

Damani Roach, Prudential Investments

Douglas Reagan, Cisco

Douglas Lebrecque, Rutgers SPAA

James Hainis, H.E.A.R.T. Martial Arts

Shivani Mehta, Cognizant

North Carolina

Arthur (Charlie) Everett, EMC

Carol Lenox, Environmental Protection Agency

Edward Lau, Microsoft

Elvira Johnson, CPCC STARS Alliance

Hong Zou, EMC

Jerry Diehl, EMC

Joe Darko, Microsoft

Kathy Cummings, Bank of America

Kim Kiesow, EMC

Megan Petrik, Bank of America

Nanelle Napp, Bank of America

Philip Armstrong, Bank of America

Rebecca Dodder, Environmental Protection Agency

Sasha Bouldin, NC Albert Schweitzer Fellows Program

Sonya “Rudy” Johnson, CPCC STARS Alliance

Taylor Clawson, NC Albert Schweitzer Fellows Program


Cindy Gabriel, Deloitte


Glenn Lowenstein, Terrain Solutions, Inc.

Mark Jernigan, NASA


Kimone Gooden, Cisco

Kelley Coyne, Women’s Audio Mission

Susan Dickey, Google

Cisco Employee Shares How to Pay it Forward

Ricardo Benavidez is the government and community relations manager at Cisco, and a long-time volunteer and supporter of Citizen Schools.  ricardo2If you walk through my neighborhood of East San Jose you will hear this same story told again and again. The story of men and women who have come to this country in search of a better life, in hopes of securing a better future for themselves and their families. Often this never amounts to more than a hope, but in the case of my parents the goal of securing a better future was secured.

I have the fortune of writing this not only as the government and community relations manager for Cisco, but as a testimony to what one can achieve if given the proper tools. My parents migrated to the US in the '70s from Mexico-- my dad a butcher and my mom a janitor. Neither had much schooling when they arrived to the United States. I took note at a young age how hard they worked and how little they made.

ricardo1Years later after having been given a strong foundation, I found myself wondering what can I do with the opportunities I have in some cases been handed, in others had to fight for, and in many ways have just been lucky to receive. The answer was a simple one, pay it forward. By sharing my time, my experiences, and my resources I have become a part of a movement to help inspire under-served students to achieve. 

Time:  When I was 10, my neighbor, Mr. Adkins, took an active interest in my education. He challenged me to raise my C's to A's and B's.  His interest, paired with the belief that I was capable of excelling, was the push I needed to perform. For over a decade I have been trying to do the same by serving as a mentor to at-risk students. We each live busy lives, but I know from experience, that sometimes something as subtle as a person sharing their time, can be enough reason for one to believe in their own worth.

Experiences:  In a family where survival was the first priority I had to utilize the experiences of my teachers, such as Mr. Swienciki, to help me navigate the college application system and explore careers.  Even today I look to my personal network to guide me through opportunities and avenues that are new to me. Each of us possesses a wealth of knowledge that we may not see as being valuable to others, but the reality is the teens are desperate for advice and answers to questions that we most likely can resolve. I know this by inviting students to my work place to gain hands on experience into the corporate world. I take students on college tours, help them with SAT preparation and course selection that will assist in college attainment; as insignificant as this may have seemed to me 10+ years ago, I have been told that without my help, many of them would not have had the additional insight to choose a career.

Resources:  For some time and personal experiences are difficult to extend, and financial resources is often the easiest way to give back to the community. It is also one of the greatest ways. Even with the time I was given by Mr. Adkins, and the knowledge that was shared by Mr. Swienciki, I would not have been able to reach the goals and hopes that my parents set forth back in Mexico and instilled in me without grants and scholarships. The reality is, without financial resources, many dreams are unattainable. While my own personal wealth is not large, I am fortunate. I make it a priority to give to nonprofits that provide access and opportunity to under-served students.

The foundation of time, experiences, and resources can be the difference between a student struggling for survival or exceeding all expectations. I like to believe with the foundation given to me, I have done the latter and I urge you to do the same. At the very least you will have the opportunity to positively influence another, and if you are as fortunate as I have been, you will be blessed to have them influence you in return.

You can make an impact like Ricardo by signing up to teach an apprenticeship with Citizen Schools.

Forbes - Breaking Good: Transcending The Good For Others/Good For Me Tradeoff

Forbes - Breaking Good: Transcending The Good For Others/Good For Me Tradeoff

Happiness is good. Actually it’s found in the pursuit of three goods: good for others, good at it, good for me. Even better, a study by the University of Vermont on Citizen Schools‘ impact has shown that this is not an either/or situation. You can pursue what is good for others, what you’re good at, and what is good for you all at the same time

Citizen Teachers Build Skills While Teaching Skills

Dr. David Jones is a professor of management in the School of Business at the University of Vermont.  My first exposure to Citizen Schools was in Spring 2012 when I agreed to conduct an independent assessment of how serving as a volunteer Citizen Teacher might affect employee volunteers in ways that benefit both them and their employer. Through my work with Citizen Schools, I’ve seen first-hand the dramatic impact that Citizen Teachers can have on young minds, exposing middle school students across the country to new experiences and opportunities in a variety of careers.

Huffington Post ImpactX: It Doesn't Take A Teacher To Make An Impact On Students' Lives

Reposted from the Huffington Post: Impact X - It Doesn't Take A Teacher To Make An Impact On Student's Lives. By Kimone Gooden, Business Development Manager, Cisco Posted 10/4/2013

It Doesn't Take A Teacher To Make An Impact On Student's Lives

I never envisioned when I accepted a job offer from Cisco 12 years ago that I would be able to squeeze in a career as a teacher as well (without moonlighting). For the last three years, I've had the privilege of being a Citizen Teacher in Oakland and San Jose schools. This is thanks to Citizen Schools, a Cisco sponsored nonprofit whose mission is to expand the learning day for middle school students in low-income communities. They do this by engaging an army of professional volunteers as "Citizen Teachers" to spend 10 weeks teaching what they already do, know or love.


Initially the idea of teaching middle school students was quite intimidating; I wondered what I could teach that would be valuable and meaningful. I learned in the schools that Citizen Schools target, there is a gap in elective curriculum in topics like robotics, blogging or painting, which more affluent schools take for granted. I eventually chose to teach STEM related topics -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-- because they hold great potential for education and career opportunities. There are currently 26 million STEM-related jobs in the United States alone. And it is expected that, by 2015, roughly 90 percent of professional jobs across all sectors will require technology skills.

My first class was on blogging and culture. Over the course of a semester, my students published their own blogs on the culture of a country they were interested in. They learned how to research, write and publish their own articles. Most recently, I taught "Technology is Everywhere" with a group of Cisco Connected Women volunteers to an all-girl class.

Our objective was to foster early interest in STEM careers, which is still a predominantly male field. Women make up almost half of the American workforce, yet hold less than 25 percent of STEM-related jobs. And while girls earn the majority of college degrees, only 12 percent are computer science degrees (and that drops to three percent for minority women). The topics in our class varied each week, from IT to marketing to engineering, depending on each volunteer's area of expertise. The students were eventually introduced to 10 different career options and the class culminated with a field trip to Cisco's Executive Briefing Center, where the students were able to experience our telepresence video technology, which they anecdotally related to "Star Trek."

Over the course of a semester I witnessed the students' level of interest and excitement increase. I saw a new awareness develop around what was possible that they did not envision before. Engineering, marketing, and IT were now added to the list of careers our students wanted to pursue when they grew up. A few even decided they wanted to work for Cisco. We were able to explain the critical role attending college would play in making those dreams a reality.

While creating a very, very early recruitment pipeline for Cisco was a nice side benefit, the true value, I discovered, in being a Citizen Teacher is not what we taught, but who we were and that we were there. We were caring adults that represented new, tangible and viable options. We were models, in the absence of professional models in their own communities. In some cases, we looked like them, and even had similar backgrounds, and because of us, what wasn't on their radar before was now accessible in a very real way. This a true example that -- regardless of the socio-economic circumstances surrounding these students' lives -- given the access, we can begin to close the achievement gap by closing the opportunity gap.

The challenges we face in education reform -- declining graduation rates, teacher tenure, class size, pay for performance, the lottery system -- can seem daunting. As I've come to find, however, this work is not only the responsibility of teachers, administrators, and education professionals. As citizens, we have enormous power and opportunity to provide true value as mentors, tutors, and buddies. We can create real impact in the midst of all the debate where it matters most: the lives of our students.

Kimone was also featured in two inspirED blog posts: Cisco Citizen Teachers of the Year and Cisco Connected Women Inspire Girls to Pursue STEM Careers.

PRESS RELEASE: Cisco Supports Citizen Schools as a National Leadership Partner

CITIZEN SCHOOLS CONTACT: Holly Trippett, (617) 695-2300 x1161 or (301)-452 3904, CISCO CONTACT: Jennifer Dunn, (202) 354-2968,



Investment of Talent, Funding, and In-Kind Products Will Help the Organization Continue to

Scale Nationally

Boston, MA and San Jose, CA – August 28, 2013—Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for underserved students, today announced Cisco, a worldwide leader in networking communications, as a new National Leadership Partner.

Cisco’s investments of talent and financial support will help Citizen Schools deepen its impact on student learning in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Texas, as well as at the national level. With Cisco's $650,000 investment, Citizen Schools is helping middle school students succeed in high school, dream of college and careers, and reach their full potential. Cisco and the Cisco Foundation have supported Citizen Schools since 2009, providing more than $1.24 million in grants and products to help the program expand from 10 schools in five states to 31 schools in seven states and improve communication among staff nationally.

Citizen Schools partners with middle schools nationally to expand the school day for children in underserved communities through academic mentoring and skill-building apprenticeships. The hands-on projects foster authentic learning experiences and are taught by volunteer professionals, or Citizen Teachers, who share their expertise and passions in engaging ways.

Citizen Schools’ math and science-based apprenticeships are helping ensure a future workforce skilled in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) job sectors. Cisco employees are among Citizen Schools' largest group of Citizen Teachers, with more than 125 employees volunteering in 65 apprenticeships since 2009. Cisco-led STEM apprenticeships include robotics, web design, game design/coding, and networking.

The demand for STEM skills in the workforce is projected to increase and outpace the number of students working towards a STEM profession. Students of all levels, particularly girls and underrepresented minorities, receive little exposure to opportunities and experiences with STEM experts. A recent study from Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program found that STEM jobs are a major economic driver across the U.S. with 20 percent of all jobs in the country requiring a “high level of knowledge” in at least one STEM field.

Citizen Schools' apprenticeship model puts more expert science and math volunteers in underserved schools, helping to improve math proficiency levels and increase student preparedness for related subject areas like technology and engineering.

“At Citizen Schools, we know that helping middle school students make the connection between their academics and real jobs in the real world can have a remarkable impact on their long-term success,” said Eric Schwarz, Co-Founder and CEO of Citizen Schools and Executive Chairman of US2020. “We are pleased to have Cisco as a partner as we work to improve educational opportunities for underserved students.”

“Citizen Schools is an important education partner to Cisco. We share the goal of helping young people develop STEM skills that will excite them about learning, as well as prepare them for jobs of the future,” said Cisco Foundation Executive Director Peter Tavernise.  “Many students who are interested in STEM subjects lack the academic support they need to pursue them during school hours, and Citizen Schools’ Citizen Teacher program is helping to address this challenge.”

Cisco also joined the US2020 initiative as a Founding Leadership Partner on April 22, 2013. US2020 is a new organization formed through the partnership of leading education non-profits and corporate leaders in STEM fields. The initiative calls on CEOs of American companies to commit, by the year 2020, 20 percent of their workforce to volunteer at least 20 hours per year as an educational mentor in a STEM-related discipline. The initiative will be incubated within Citizen Schools until July of 2014 and will then become its own 501(c)(3) non-profit. As a part of its commitment, the company’s U.S. employees will participate in Citizen Schools’ various programs.

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of educators to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support, in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit

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Cisco Citizen Teachers of the Year

Leading network technology company Cisco and the nonprofit organization Citizen Schools have partnered for four years to help middle school students across the country discover a love for science and technology. Over 125 volunteers from Cisco have stepped out of their jobs as engineers, sales executives, and technology professionals to become mentors and “Citizen Teachers” (CTs), leading groups of students in 10-week “apprenticeship” classes. Thanks to their commitment to the program, over 700 students have had access to caring mentors and developed an interest in pursuing future careers in STEM fields. This year Citizen Schools is recognizing three Cisco volunteers as the Cisco Citizen Teachers of the Year.


Cisco CT of the Year: Kimone Gooden

Kimone Gooden is a Business Development Manager in Cisco’s Demo Loan Program. She has been a CT for 2 years: first in Oakland teaching a blogging apprenticeship, and this year in Silicon Valley, where she coordinated a Cisco Connected Women group – including Denise Lombard – to teach Women in Technology.

Tell us something about your apprenticeship?

We had an all girls apprenticeship taught by women from Cisco’s Connected Women San Jose employee resource group. Our class Women in Technology was focused on exposing middle school girls to the wide range of career options available in STEM fields, an area where women are still the minority.


What surprised you most about the volunteer experience? 

The Citizen Schools apprenticeships gave the girls a lot of amazing exposure to different things. I was very happy to discover how much the girls loved the topics. We went from marketing to project management to IT. By the end of the apprenticeship they had exposure to instructional knowledge on ten different careers in technology. We also went on a field trip to Cisco where we gave a live demonstration of our Telepresence technology. We put them in different rooms and simulated how efficiently we could connect to each other virtually via video. It was a great way to show in real time the power of technology we discussed in class. I was surprised to hear by the end of the class several girls expressing an ambition to work for Cisco. It seems our class has become a very early staffing and recruitment channel.

What did you learn about yourself and about the students?

I learned that I missed my students when I did not have class, which was a surprise. I did not anticipate how much I would enjoy spending time with them. The kids, they have so much energy and excitement for what we teach, being around them is like a breath of fresh air.

Why is it important to you and your company to teach apprenticeships?

It has been extraordinarily important. By virtue of doing this group class, I met and networked with a variety of women so my personal network has grown. I am now able to reach out to any of my fellow CTs in other groups for their support or feedback on a project. Networks are so important and the networking I did with all the other Citizen Teachers has been very valuable.

Are you still in touch with the other Citizen Teachers you had networked earlier with?

We are connected on LinkedIn and are now actively working on creating a community of Citizen Teachers at Cisco. We are going to plan lunches and activities to maintain the engagement.

What was your WOW! moment from the semester?

The great thing about the structure of the class is that each apprenticeship is paired with a Citizen Schools staff member who is responsible for behavior management, among other things. There was one girl who was a bit disruptive. During our branding session we really saw her come alive, we saw a whole different level of engagement from her. I saw firsthand the power of curriculum students can relate to, it really can change their entire experience and investment in the class. 9156683186_0781269e14_z

What does this recognition for your service mean to you?

I’ve already committed to teach next year, this is just a nice acknowledgement and reinforces my commitment.

What is the future that you see for the students who are part of the Citizen Schools initiative?

The apprenticeships are varied and interesting from dance classes to building video games to yoga, it exposes the students to a whole range of possibilities very different from their normal school day. Hopefully something they learn will excite them and build their passion for learning. I met another Citizen Teacher during orientation whose daughter participated in Citizen Schools years ago and now wins junior science competitions based on an interest she developed in her very first apprenticeship. This is an amazing program and the students involved will undoubtedly continue to do amazing things.


Cisco CT of the Year: Doug Reagan

Doug Reagan is a Strategic Account Manager at Cisco, handling sales for higher education accounts in northern New Jersey and New York. He is also a four-time Citizen Teacher with Citizen Schools New Jersey.

How did you hear about Citizen Schools?

I was initially exposed to the program through the Newark Board of Education and then learned from the Cisco Foundation that we were partners in Boston, North Carolina and California and I was excited to bring the conversation to New Jersey. I was born in Newark and I liked the local focus. It felt like coming home to give back to the community I am from.

What apprenticeship topic did you teach?

The apprenticeship focused on video documentaries and provided firsthand experience on how technology impacts students in the classroom. A lot of what we do at Cisco in terms of technology is finding ways to change a company’s business paradigm.  I wanted to do the same from a teaching perspective to show the students how technology can affect their education. I have now taught four apprenticeships in total.

What did you learn about yourself and about the students?  

I think what I’ve learned is that children within these communities have a lot in common with kids in other communities. I have an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old and they have a lot of similarities to the kids I taught-- the same challenges and the same wants that come with being an adolescent. At first, some kids are indifferent, but once you start working with them pretty closely, there starts to be a common bond. It takes a little bit of time to establish those connections, but they tend to be quite powerful. You need to make an effort to build a bridge.

Why is it important to you and Cisco to teach apprenticeships

I think that exposing typically underserved students to more and more of the world outside of their communities is a critical element in showing them how important their education is. The more you can expose them to people and resources outside the four walls of their school, the better chance you have to show them that success is within their reach with the right path, like education and hard work.

What was your WOW! moment from the semester?

We took the students to Cisco and used Cisco’s Telepresence system to connect them with the NFL Hall of Fame in Ohio as part of a lesson to show them what careers they can have in sports outside of just playing them. They were mesmerized at how they were connected across many miles to the speaker. It was like a window into another world for them. The fact that technology itself helped them focus and have a “light bulb” moment was a great experience for me and for them.


What does this recognition for your service mean to you? 

I am humbled by this honor, but realize any success I’ve had isn’t based on my efforts alone. For example, the support and encouragement I get from Cisco to give back to the community is key. But more important, I very much appreciate the opportunities that Citizen Schools has provided me to volunteer in Newark Schools. From the highly organized approach they take to Expanded Learning Time, to the great in-class support I’ve received from all of the staff, it’s been a great experience and extremely rewarding to see how every child benefits from the program.  Looking forward to the next apprenticeship!

Cisco CT of the Year: Denise Lombard

Denise Lombard is a Director in Global Procurement Services at Cisco and a co-CT with Kimone Gooden. Both are part of the San Jose Connected Women Outreach Program which is focused on reaching out to junior high and high school girls to increase their awareness and excitement regarding careers in technology.

What surprised you most about the volunteer experience?  

The biggest surprise about this volunteer experience was how organized the program was and the amazing support Citizen Schools and their staff provided. The infrastructure of the program made it extremely easy to partner with them, and to meet and exceed our goals within the Cisco Connected Women Outreach Program.


What did you learn about yourself and about the students?  

I inherently know this about myself, but every time I am engaged with these young women I truly feel more energized and motivated to make a difference in both my personal and professional lives. It’s wonderful that I am able to merge my professional and personal goals together with the Citizen Schools and Cisco partnership. The students never cease to amaze me, there are so many bright young women that are inquisitive and eager to learn more about the world and what’s in store for them and I’m so glad I can be a part of that quest!

What advice do you have for future volunteers?

Really connect with these students by making the sessions interactive. Also, students seemed to really enjoy hearing some of our personal stories about our development throughout our careers and some of the mistakes we made along the way. Finally, don’t forget that volunteers can learn a lot from students, too!

Why is it important to you and your company to teach apprenticeships?

Looking purely from the business side, I would say we are contributing to building a pipeline of future employees for Cisco by engaging with them now and letting them know about all the exciting opportunities Cisco and other technology companies can offer. From a personal perspective, this quote by Winston Churchill really resonates with me. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Sharing my knowledge and my time to guide and influence these young students to go after what they are passionate about and share with them all the incredible opportunities technology has to offer is truly a gift to me.

What does this recognition for your service mean to you?

This recognition is so unexpected and wonderful; [I can’t believe] that I am actually receiving recognition for something that I consider a privilege and gift to give. Thank you for all your support and I’m looking forward to next semester and our continued partnership.

Press Release: US2020 and President Clinton Announce City Competition to Spur Innovation and Growth in High-Quality STEM Mentoring

Contact: Holly Trippett, US2020 and Citizen Schools, (617) 695-2300 x1161 or (301)-452-3904,




CHICAGO, IL – June 14, 2013 – Today at CGI America, a nationwide gathering hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced that US2020, a new initiative that aims to engage one million science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals by the year 2020, will launch a city competition to increase the amount of STEM mentoring in communities nationally. New US2020 partners were also announced at the event, including Tata Consultancy Services and HP.

"We need these one million volunteers to ensure that we're going to have students take the courses" that will inspire and prepare them for STEM careers, said President Clinton.

Joining current US2020 Founding Leadership Partners Cisco, Cognizant, and SanDisk, Tata Consultancy Services and HP will collectively work towards US2020’s goal of mobilizing one million STEM professionals to mentor students by the year 2020. Through an online matching platform, US2020 will help place STEM volunteers into high impact mentoring opportunities with top nonprofits working across different grades, settings, and delivery models. As more companies join this effort, their early leadership will help catalyze a culture shift in which mentoring becomes the new normal for STEM professionals, much like pro bono work is in the legal profession.

US2020 and its corporate partners are taking strides to strengthen the STEM career pipeline for traditionally underrepresented students by connecting them to professionals in the field who will serve as mentors and teachers. These skilled volunteers will bring subjects to life and provide engaging moments of discovery to students through real-world, hands-on projects and academic coaching facilitated by nonprofits like The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF), Citizen Schools, and others. Ultimately, these students will have access to career opportunities they might never have considered and will help fill the STEM jobs of the future that will keep the country economically competitive.

To push the US2020 effort forward, the initiative and its partners launched the US2020 City Competition with President Clinton during the closing plenary of CGI America. The strategy will select and support between three to five cities that propose plans to mobilize STEM volunteers through partnerships with leading science and technology businesses. The chosen cities will be offered $1 million or more in cash and in-kind support to bring together businesses, nonprofits, city governments, and local philanthropies around a coordinated effort to spark the minds of students across their communities.

The US2020 City Competition is inspired by other successful awards and strategies, including the Obama administration's Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation (i3) competitions, X PRIZES, and the Ashoka Changemakers and Carnegie Corporation’s “Partnering for Excellence” Competition.

“We believe it is essential to offer engaging learning experiences with STEM professionals to students who need their support and the opportunity for cities to utilize their STEM workforce to educate and prepare the next generation of STEM professionals,” said Eric Schwarz, co-founder and CEO of Citizen Schools and Executive Chairman of US2020.

The demand for STEM skills in the workforce is projected to increase and outpace the number of students working towards a STEM profession. Students of all levels, particularly girls and underrepresented minorities, receive little exposure to opportunities and experiences with STEM experts. A recent study from Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program found that STEM jobs are a major economic driver across the U.S. with 20 percent of all jobs in the country requiring a “high level of knowledge” in at least one STEM field.

“To succeed on tomorrow’s world stage, students must today have a solid foundation in STEM and be fluent in the technologies that will power the global economy of the 21st Century,” said Surya Kant, President of TCS’ North America, UK and Europe operations. “TCS is proud to bring not only our technological expertise to this effort, but also the passion and commitment that our employees have in lending their talents to positively impact their communities, across the country and around the world.”

Tata Consultancy Services is a Founding Leadership Partner of US2020, providing more than $500,000 in cash and in-kind support. Tata Consultancy Services will be the lead partner in developing US2020's web-based matching technology to connect STEM mentors with high-quality volunteer placements. HP is also joining the US2020 initiative as a Founding Member. Both Tata Consultancy Services and HP are aspiring to get 20 percent of their STEM workforce mentoring students by 2020.

“HP’s aim is to enable the next generation of leaders and innovators to leverage their full potential in an IT-driven world. Our employees have been working with Citizen Schools for many years as part of our commitment to offering skills and time,” says Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President Sustainability and Social Innovation at HP.

In partnership with founding Fortune 500 companies Cisco, Cognizant, and SanDisk and founding partners AfterCollege, Citizen Schools, CodeNow, HotChalk, National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, and TEALS, US2020 has pledged to work over the next few years to recruit hundreds of additional education non-profits and school districts that will commit to high standards in STEM mentoring, common and transparent metrics, and efforts to scale high-quality placement for STEM mentors in both school day and extended day, extended week, and extended year settings.

About US2020

US2020 is a new organization formed through a partnership of leading education non-profits and corporate leaders in the STEM field. The initiative emerged from a White House call to generate big, innovative solutions to our STEM education challenge, with a focus on increasing access to STEM careers for girls, underrepresented minorities in the sciences, and low-income children. US2020 will be incubated within Citizen Schools, a leading education non-profit and will become a standalone non-profit entity in 2014. US2020 relies on a committed and growing community of public, private, non-profit and individual partners.

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Huffington Post Live: STEM Boost

Huffington Post Live May 6, 2013

STEM Boost

This segment discusses science, technology, engineering & math (STEM) education and the importance of mentorship to US competitiveness which recently saw a boost from President Obama with initiatives like US2020.  The conversation included Eric Schwarz, Citizen Schools' Co-Founder and CEO and US2020 Executive Chairman, Mark Greenlaw, Cognizant VP Sustainability & Educational Affairs and Citizen Teacher, Bill Nye, The Science Guy and The Planetary Society CEO, and Camsie McAdams, US Department of Education Senior Advisor on STEM Education. Watch the entire segment here.

US2020 and Citizen Schools' apprenticeship model, particularly in the STEM fields, is also featured on the Huffington Post in Expanding the Definition of Who Teachers STEM, When and How.

California STEM WOW! Event Sure to Inspire

Business executives, computer programmers, engineers and key leaders in technology are gathering at the offices of EMC Corporation for an exciting event-- a presentation of incredible innovation and scientific breakthroughs...led by middle school students.

Citizen Schools California is hosting the STEM WOW! event at the office of EMC Corporation in Santa Clara, California on Tuesday, May 21. Guests will enjoy an inspiring evening of presentations from some of the best and brightest students in California.

Here's a sneak peek at what the students will be presenting...

1. Tech Challenge Tech Challenge is our spotlight apprenticeship at the STEM WOW! event. In partnership with EMCRAFT and the San Jose Tech Museum, this apprenticeship was taught at four schools this semester. Students experienced a real "WOW moment" on the day of the Tech Challenge competition when they were tasked with a mission to launch an egg onto an asteroid. The team displayed exceptional knowledge of design thinking and beamed with pride when they received their Tech Challenge participation medals.  Find out more about the Tech Challenge apprenticeship here. 

Photo by Alison Taggart Barone

2. Amazing Mazes Students learn how to build complex mazes, explore how they are  programmed, and come up with different ways to solve them. One volunteer said, "In one lesson I was trying to teach an important but abstract math and programming concept. As it turns out, one 7th grade girl in class really got it. I’m not sure who was more pleased, me, because I was able to teach, or she, because she was able to learn!"

3. What is a Computer, Really? Students learn the ins and outs of a computer and how technology impacts their lives. Citizen Teacher from Cognizant said, "Nothing like teaching kids! It is 'Give and Take', you teach and you learn with them. Thanks to Citizen Schools and Campbell for giving this opportunity and experience to us."

Cisco Apprenticeship Students

4. Women in Business  The Women's Leadership Pillar at Cisco is inspiring girls to pursue careers in science, technology, marketing and more! When asked what she wants to do when she's older, one student responded, "I want to work for Cisco!" Check out this blog post to learn more about the Women in Business apprenticeship.

5. Adventures in the Atmosphere In this apprenticeship students are learning about the different facets of the atmosphere, including pressure, sound and space. The students are so engaged that they often ask for the websites used in class so they can explore them on their own at home. An 8th grade science teacher at Campbell Middle School came to visit the apprenticeship and left saying how impressed she was with their engagement.

6. There's an App for That Students are learning how to design their own mobile phone applications. One student even surprised everyone by using a YouTube tutorial to create an App that solves equations using the quadratic formula! robotics3

7. Robotics Standford University engineering students are teaching kids to build and program their own robots. One shy student broke out of her shell in this apprenticeship class, taking on a leadership role in the class.

8. Bootstrap Led by volunteers from Google, students are learning how to create their own video games using the Bootstrap programming code.

9. Ice Cream, You Scream Everybody loves ice cream and these kids are applying the Scientific Method to create their own ice cream flavors. They are applying food science in in real world scenario by learning how to market their ice cream brand.

Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy an evening of networking with some of the biggest companies in technology, as well as the next generation of scientists, engineers and technology experts. Register today!