Cognizant

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!

GOLD

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

BRONZE

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

AshleyAppiagyei,NC

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

Dax Novak-LENDING CLUB,CA

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

JuliaRoberts-NJIT,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

Xiang Li-NYUCD,NY

Ya QingChen-NYUCD,NY

YikLam-Biogen,NC

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

SILVER

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!

GOLD

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

SILVER

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

Cognizant Employees Teaching Code

The Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education has stated that New Jersey will need to fill 269,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs by 2018. Cognizant Technology Solutions, a Citizen Schools partner, is helping alleviate this current STEM crisis through their employee volunteering program. This semester three Cognizant employees, Meeghan Salcedo, Siva Krishna Titti, and Shivani Mehta, will be leading Citizen Schools New Jersey’s coding apprenticeships at Chancellor Avenue Elementary School and Eagle Academy for Young Men with the hopes to inspire a next generation of STEM professionals in New Jersey. How do you think coding will benefit the students at Eagle Academy and Chancellor Avenue?

Meeghan: STEM studies are extremely important. This coding apprenticeship will not only teach the students how to code and what careers they can pursue in this field, but it will also broaden students’ horizons and expose them to a field not traditionally taught in [middle] school.

Shivani and student

Siva: Coding will definitely benefit the students. Technology is evolving every day, so it is good to have coding skills to contribute towards the next revolution in technology. Also, for me coding is fun; kids will enjoy the classes.

How is Cognizant's partnership with Citizen Schools helping build a strong workforce in the STEM industry?

Shivani: I believe that Cognizant's partnership with Citizen Schools is great for both. People from Cognizant, like myself, who want to contribute to their communities by sharing their knowledge, are now able to volunteer through the encouragement of our company, which is a valuable and fulfilling combination. Citizen Schools’ students are now being exposed to employees in the STEM industry which can help guide them with their skills as well as understanding what it means to work in the STEM industry. I hope that the students are being encouraged to achieve their dreams and goals by not only Cognizant volunteers, but all volunteers.

Meeghan: Cognizant’s partnership with Citizen Schools definitely helps lay the foundation for a strong STEM workforce. It is so vital to furthering technology that we encourage these studies at an early age. As a Cognizant associate, it is incredibly rewarding to help facilitate that.

Meeghan and her apprentice

Siva: Cognizant is one of the leading technology consulting organizations. With highly qualified and experienced workforce, we deliver innovative solutions to our customers across industries. When we teach at Citizen Schools we bring our experiences to the classes. This gives a realistic view of the industry to the kids, thus helping them understand the subject while relating to the real world.

During last semester’s Solar Cars apprenticeship, what changes did you see in your students in terms of skill development and/or confidence?

Shivani: In the beginning of the apprenticeship, we understood that the kids were bored with just listening to lectures and completing handouts, and they had a lot of energy throughout the hour and half classes. Because of this, we were able to engage them physically with games and smaller groups. This showed a great change in their confidence because each of us were then able to interact with the students one-on-one. By discussing with them their ideas and opinions, along with their questions and concerns, we were able to tackle challenges the students faced through discussions. Their confidence seemed to have increased towards the end of the apprenticeship. They were excited to learn as well as share with the class what they learned and even teach the rest of us by sharing their ideas. Their technical and innovation skills such as designing and prototyping the solar cars had improved with the aid of the "design process". This means there was a lot of iteration where the students designed, built, and adjusted based on the learning in class. We emphasized to them that failing is good because it

Siva and his apprentices

means they can learn from it and create or make something better over time and it definitely showed at the end of the semester. They also developed communication skills through the different activities and games we incorporated.

Over 130 Cognizant employees have volunteered in New Jersey since 2010. We thank all of the Cognizant Citizen Teachers for championing our students, our communities, and our program!

To learn more about Citizen Schools’ apprenticeships, please contact Ashley Drew, Civic Engagement and Operations Associate, at ashleydrew@citizenschools.org

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,

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Insights from a Beautiful Girl

This is the second post in a series of blog posts featuring Citizen Schools’ program in New Jersey. This installment features a Q&A with a student who took the "Beautiful Girls" apprenticeship this fall. In light of the article, “Why Striving to be Perfect is Keeping Women out of STEM Jobs,” it has become apparent that we need to close the “confidence gap” in young women in order to close the gender gap in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) industry.

The Beautiful Girls apprenticeship, aimed towards building positive self-esteem in young girls to help them achieve their personal and career goals, is closing this “confidence gap” for thousands of students across the country. We sat down with Beautiful Girl, Georgina (age 11), to ask about her experience in this apprenticeship.

Georgina with her volunteer Citizen Teachers: Meeghan Salcedo from Cognizant, Vanessa Ackon and Nina Barber

What are you learning in Beautiful Girls?

I’m learning that it’s not about how you look on the outside, but how you feel on the inside, about personality and self-esteem. We’ve been learning about true friendship and how we need to be a good friend in order to have a friend. We learned how to voice our opinions proudly, and that we can be whatever we want to be!

How have you changed since taking this apprenticeship?

I’m more true to myself and I’m able to express my feelings. I’m not trying to fit in or be like other girls; I’m just trying to be my old, silly self. I’m learning to face my fears. At the beginning of my apprenticeship, I thought no one would like me. I don’t talk to a lot of people, but I learned how to make new friends. In Beautiful Girls, we’re learning S.P.E.A.K. We have to present for the WOW!, so we have to practice proper speaking skills.

Georgina with her role model Teaching Fellow Ms. Evans.

I want to be a singer or an author, because I like to sing and write. To be a singer, I have to try a lot of new things, I have to have good grades and succeed.

How can you apply this to your goals in life?

I want to be a singer or an author, because I like to sing and write. To be a singer, I have to try a lot of new things, I have to have good grades and succeed.

What makes you a Beautiful Girl?

My personality and how I feel when I accomplish something. I like to be a hippie, take away the negative energy and enjoy my life!

What has been your favorite moment during Beautiful Girls?

My favorite moment was when I was talking to [volunteer Citizen Teacher] Ms. Vanessa during girl talk. We’re both from Ghana, so we talked a lot about Ghana. I liked that moment because most people in my school aren’t African, so I got to share my culture and connect with someone. I don’t get to do that a lot in school.

Cognizant is a proud National Leadership Partner of Citizen Schools. Thank you Meeghan for your leadership!

Read more about the “Confidence Gap.”

For more information about apprenticeships contact Ashley Drew, Civic Engagement and Operations Associate, at ashleydrew@citizenschools.org.

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.

Massachusetts:

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

Illinois

Cindy Gabriel, Deloitte

Texas

Glenn Lowenstein, Terrain Solutions, Inc.

Mark Jernigan, NASA

California

Kimone Gooden, Cisco

Kelley Coyne, Women’s Audio Mission

Susan Dickey, Google

Cognizant Volunteer is a Force of Good in Newark

For Shivani Mehta volunteering isn’t just a weekend activity, it runs through every aspect of her life. Throughout high school and college she gave her time to make an impact in the lives of children. When she started working at Cognizant in New Jersey, Shivani was able to participate in a new volunteer opportunity, teaching an “apprenticeship” class with Citizen Schools.

eagle blog postCitizen Schools is a national non-profit that partners with low-income middle schools to extend the learning day. One afternoon a week Shivani arrives at Eagle Academy for the Young Men of Newark, transforming from a business analyst into a Citizen Teacher, and leading students on a journey to master photography. During this apprenticeship, students gain an understanding of all aspects of photography including the power of a story told by a picture. By filling the afternoon with activities like this, students develop skills that help them succeed in high school, college, and beyond.

Since she began working at Cognizant, Shivani has taught four apprenticeships ranging from robotics to professional networking. She even recruited some of her sorority sisters from Iota Sigma Beta to teach with her. But for Shivani the experience is more than teaching students a new skill, it’s about presenting herself as a mentor and role model. “I feel that it’s my job to be a force of good in their lives regardless of the challenges they may face outside of the classroom.”

shivaniIn fact, students have felt so comfortable in Shivani’s class they have come to her for advice. Sometimes it’s about furthering some of the skills they have gained in the apprenticeship, other times it’s more serious. “I remind them all the time that they have a bright future ahead of them.”

This month, we are proud to recognize Shivani Mehta as our Citizen Teacher of the Month!

Meet Shivani…

 

Describe your biggest WOW! moment to date:

“That first semester sticks out in my mind. Watching the students get into coding a robot and wanting to learn more in a hands-on way. You could tell how proud they were to present their projects to their families and the community at the WOW! showcase”

eagle blog post2What have you learned about yourself through this process?

“I’ve learned how to be more patient and how to relate to students. Through personal experience, I’ve seen how intimidating their environments outside of the classroom can be. I’ve learned to try to connect with them beyond the teaching and just try to be a force of good in their lives.”

Have you faced any challenges?

“I haven’t really faced any challenges. My supervisor and Cognizant are incredibly supportive of my decision to teach an apprenticeship.”

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

The Gift that Keeps Giving: Mentoring Students

Meera, a Senior Manager at Cognizant, has taken her knowledge of technology and used it in an innovative way that might surprise you-- inspiring students to love learning. As a mentor “Citizen Teacher” Meera opened the door to new skills and dreams for students who might not have otherwise had that experience. In the spirit of the season of giving, we want to take this time to recognize people like Meera, and partners like Cognizant, who give so much of their time, resources, and passion, to the mission of providing students with the skills, access, and beliefs they need to be successful.

5810880382_4f5db9a246Meera said, “I strongly believe that the best asset and power we can give to our kids is education. It’s very gratifying to teach something you know to kids, and inevitably you will always come out of the classroom learning something new as well.”

During one of her apprenticeship classes while teaching the students how to build and program robots, Meera opened up the world of engineering. Previously an unfamiliar career choice to the class, Meera recalled the incredible moment when a student told her that he wanted to go to college to pursue engineering. She said, “If we are able to open up the world and give students a peek into how exciting their futures can be, that is how I would define success.”

Helping students attain those moments of discovery and viewing service as part of success is what makes Meera and her fellow mentors such incredible leaders in the community. At Citizen Schools, we want to say a sincere thank you to our volunteers like Meera and encourage you to join them in connecting students to their dreams.

'Tis the Season to Say Thanks for Volunteering!

Tis the season of giving-- a perfect opportunity to thank those who have given so much in support of middle school students across the country. As an organization we rely on the community to join together to help close the gaps between students and successful futures. Thanks to our dedicated and passionate volunteers like those from National Leadership Partner, Cognizant Technology Solutions, students are discovering new dreams, and have the skills and confidence they need to achieve them. What better time to thank them than now?

NJ WOW!Joelle E. Quilla, VP-Legal; General Counsel-Corporate Services at Cognizant, can’t resist giving her time and resources when she sees something that needs to be done in the community. That sentiment led her to Citizen Schools, where we partner closely with Cognizant to help connect students to real-world learning experiences.

Joelle sits on the board of advocates for Citizen Schools New Jersey, ensuring that middle school students in Newark have access to high quality mentors. As an important connector, she is dedicated to bringing people out of their offices and into the classroom to work directly with students on hands-on projects. Thanks to Joelle’s leadership, students have had the chance to build robots, launch rockets, and more with some of the country’s smartest people.

Joelle has also been a mentor, or “Citizen Teacher,” herself, leading two apprenticeship classes, one afternoon a week for ten weeks. It was during one of these classes that she helped transform a young lady’s outlook on life. Joelle recalls, “A very bright, but quiet young lady in one of my apprenticeship classes would always come to our class wearing her sweatshirt hood on her head. I could tell she was somewhat uncomfortable in her own skin. One week I brought in a group of guest speakers who told the students their stories of overcoming incredible challenges in their lives. One of the speakers reached out to the student, encouraging her to portray herself as a strong, intelligent young lady, and that if she can feel that way inside, others will also feel that way about her. That student never came to class wearing her sweatshirt hood up again.”

Joelle’s passion to connect students to the people and resources they deserve, allowed this young lady to have a moment of discovery that could impact the course of her education. Joelle said, “It’s important to give back for many reasons, and when we talk about our children’s education, I really think you cannot underestimate the power of providing all children with opportunities to be successful. The impact is not only on the children themselves, but on the local, national, and global community as well.”

At Citizen Schools, we want to say a sincere thank you to givers like Joelle. You make a real impact on the lives of students and we are grateful to have you as part of the team.

The Huffington Post: Citizen Power, Multiplied

The Huffington Post September 13, 2013

Citizen Power, Multiplied

As part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute, Eric Schwarz, Co-Founder and CEO of Citizen Schools, authored an opinion piece to recognizing the power of national service to mobilize thousands of volunteers. The series is in conjunction with the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11th and the 20th anniversary of the signing of the AmeriCorps legislation on September 20th.

"'I want to be a professional football player in the NFL," Abdullah said, on the first day of a professional networking class he signed up for at his middle school.

Jessica Fick, a former member of AmeriCorps, was facilitating the class with Charlie Bini, an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow who was serving at the Louise A. Spencer School in Newark, NJ. Their goal was to help each student discover a dream and begin mapping a path to achieving it." Read the rest of the Citizen Power, Multiplied.

Volunteers Turn Curiosity into Dreams

Ranjani Ganeshmurthy is a two-time Citizen Teacher and volunteer intern with Citizen Schools. 

Last fall, I took on the challenge of getting a group of middle school students interested in engineering. I signed up to teach an afternoon “apprenticeship” class about building solar cars with my husband who works at Cognizant, a partner of the nonprofit, Citizen Schools. This was our second time volunteering with Citizen Schools and we were a long way from being experts in the field of teaching.

solar cars1The curriculum required more effort and planning than we initially estimated and let me tell you, the energy from 17  boisterous students can do more than just bring the roof down! Figuring out  a way to channel all of that energy into productive work, while still inspiring the students, was going to be a challenge.  All the students had unique personalities--ranging from studious, calm and composed kids to fun-loving, out-of-the-box thinkers. The goal to not only teach the kids about solar energy and how to build the cars, but to inspire them to consider engineering as a future career goal, suddenly seemed even more daunting than I had originally thought.

In the first week, the students seemed way more enamored with the possibility of building “really cool cars" than with the actual process of engineering. One young man in particular comes to mind.  Moreyke had a lot of natural curiosity, but needed direction to channel it into a potential future career. Over the next few weeks, we learned a lot about his young inquisitive mind.

Moreyke wanted to get down and dirty with the construction of solar cars. He and his fellow "young engineers" wanted to be engaged from the start and were not the least bit intimidated with the wires, motors and axles. Using that excitement, we split the group up into teams and we saw that some of the very enthusiastic students like Moreyke quickly emerged  as the ringleaders. Over the next few weeks, gradually the other students started stepping up and taking responsibility for their cars, helping out their teammates in the process. Even the typically quiet ones in the class started coming out of their shells, following the example of the group leaders.

solarcars3It was casually during one of our test runs toward the end of the project that we asked Moreyke and his friends about their future plans and he proudly said, “I want to be a mechanical engineer when I grow up. I even know which college I am going to go to. My sister went to that college too. Maybe I will build a solar car for Ms.Babbe one day and I will build one for you too, Ms.G!"

I was beaming! Following his example, a couple of his friends exclaimed they wanted to become mechanical engineers too. It was a moment I will never forget!

That day I had a revelation. All children have incredible potential and they just need a constructive outlet to channel their curiosity. Moreyke started the class as an inquisitive middle schooler, knowing he wanted to do something important but without an idea of how to get there. Ten weeks later he was on his way to becoming a mechanical engineer. To be able to have a student discover a dream and gain clarity is something that makes the experience worthwhile. Moreyke proved to be a natural leader who was able to lead his friends by example and we got to witness the way he blossomed from a child to a confident young man!

solar cars2At the beginning of the semester we thought getting the students excited about engineering would be a challenge. Thanks to these wonderful children and their natural curiosity, we learned never to underestimate a student's ability to learn. Through some hard work and engaging content, mechanical engineering became a fun and inspiring reality for these kids.

This fall, I encourage all professionals to take on the same challenge that my husband and I did. In just ten short weeks you can give young leaders like Moreyke something to look forward to in the future. Sign up to teach an apprenticeship today!

Cognizant Employee Teaches TechnoSWAG

Mark Greenlaw is one of the many Cognizant employees who reserve 90 minutes each week to volunteer with middle school students through the national nonprofit Citizen Schools.  In this video, he describes his experience turning kids into future technology experts by teaching a "TechnoSWAG" class on the science behind circuits and LED light design. Mark said, "There was nothing you could do to prevent me from making sure that I was in Boston at the Irving Middle School every Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. for ten weeks." Find out why... http://youtu.be/8Rf0FgGJjXw

Building Relationships through Volunteering

Ranjani Ganeshmurthy is a two-time Citizen Teacher and volunteer intern with Citizen Schools. 

When my husband came home from work one day declaring that he had signed us up to volunteer with middle school students once a week, I was filled with apprehension and self-doubt. Having worked at an IT firm before, I was not convinced that I could manage a classroom full of students. So it was with quite a bit of persuasion on his side that I agreed to teach my first “apprenticeship” class  with my husband’s company Cognizant and the nonprofit organization Citizen Schools.

My stint at teaching ended up being a great lesson for me and my better half. By taking on the challenge of teaching a group of energetic middle schoolers how to build and program robots, I ended up learning just as much as them. Here are just a few of the lessons learned...

ranjani2

1. Be open. Sometimes we are so caught up in our ways that it takes something totally out-of-the-box to give us an awakening. Teaching this group of enthusiastic children was that moment for me. What had seemed a daunting task turned out to be fun the moment I entered the classroom. Meeting the students, who were very eager to learn, was a total boost to my confidence. There is something about being looked up to as a teacher, which breaks barriers and opens one’s mind to trying new things.

2. Engage. After our first class, it became clear that we had to do a lot more than just get concepts through to the kids. We needed to really engage them! In order for them to love what they were doing, we had to be engaged with the material as well. We not only taught from the lesson plans but brought in outside materials- like videos of active industrial robots to show the kids. Those videos came in handy when we explained why certain parts had to go in certain places of the robots. Going the extra mile made all of the difference. We didn’t realize it then, but by us being engaged and excited about the content, the students became engaged and excited too.

ranjani13. Synchronize and support. One of the reasons we agreed to volunteer was because it would be something that we could do together as a couple. We spent several weeks before the class started debating over the lessons and working on the robot. They were fun-filled evenings that strengthened our understanding of how the other works under stress and how much our patience could be stretched. We learned that supporting each other was fundamental to working better as a team in a professional setting.

4. Trust. One of the most important things we learned was to trust.We had to trust each other to put in the effort to make each lesson great for the students. Sometimes, he had to trust me to think of creative ways to engage the students and work on lessons while he was busy with work. Other times, I had to trust him and our fellow volunteer Citizen Teachers to facilitate the lessons, even when we weren't as prepared as we would have liked to be. As we learned to trust each other as teachers, we got much better in the classroom.

Even though I was apprehensive at first, I am proud to say that now I have taught  two apprenticeships with my husband and his colleagues from Cognizant. I learned so much from the experience-- like the impact that volunteering can have on children and adults alike.

You can be a part of this phenomenal change by signing up to teach an apprenticeship this fall. Whether you teach with your spouse, your friend, your colleague or even someone you don’t know, you will both grow from the experience.

 

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, hollytrippett@citizenschools.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

US2020 AND PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCE CITY COMPETITION TO SPUR INNOVATION AND GROWTH IN HIGH-QUALITY STEM MENTORING

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! 

T.H.E. Journal: White House, Organizations Band To Pursue a Million STEM Volunteers by 2020

T.H.E. Journal April 23, 2013

White House, Organizations Band To Pursue a Million STEM Volunteers by 2020

This article features the launch of the initiative US2020 that was launched at the 3rd annual White House Science Fair, April 22nd. Citizen Schools is mentioned as the nonprofit that will incubate the initiative and Eric Schwarz, Citizen Schools' Co-Founder and CEO of Citizen Schools and Executive Chairman of US2020 is quoted on the importance of this new initiative.

"In the United States, millions of scientists and technology experts have the ability to inspire students who need their support most; this effort will make it possible for them to enable these moments of discovery," said Schwarz. "Through hands-on projects and academic coaching, US2020 will give students a chance to connect with successful STEM professionals, providing a level of engagement that can change the trajectory of STEM education in the United States."

Read more.

San Jose Mercury News: SanDisk, Cisco Join Barack Obama In Pushing New STEM Mentoring Initiative

Silicon Beat, the technology blog from The Mercury News April 22, 2013

SanDisk, Cisco Join Barack Obama in Pushing New STEM Mentoring Initiative

This article highlights the launch of the initiative US2020 at the White House Science Fair on April 22nd, including Founding Leadership partners SanDisk and Cisco. Cognizant is also a Founding Leadership Partner of the organization. Citizen Schools is mentioned as the nonprofit that coordinated the initiative and will incubate it until Fiscal Year 2014 (July of 2014). Read the article here.