Dell EMC Supports Boston After-School STEM Program

Dell EMC Supports Boston After-School STEM Program

Big tech companies like Google have stepped up in recent years to help nonprofits and organizations provide underserved students with access to education infused with technology.

After-school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs have seen success, so it’s a no-brainer that a tech giant like Dell EMC would put its support behind one.

Late last year, it was announced that Dell EMC would provide the nonprofit Citizen Schools with $100,000 to directly support hands-on STEM programs in Massachusetts.

Citizen Schools STEM Programs Get A Boost From Dell EMC

BOSTON-- Oct. 3, 2016 - Citizen Schools is pleased to announce it has received a $100,000 gift from Dell EMC. The gift affirms Dell EMC’s continuing commitment to Citizen Schools following its historic merger, building upon EMC’s long-time support of Citizen Schools.  Citizen Schools is a national non-profit focused on enriching the education of middle school students in six states through Expanded Learning Time (ELT) programs held during after school hours. “We are grateful for this generous donation from Dell EMC to support our STEM programs for over 1,500 students in Boston and Chelsea,” said Megan Bird, Executive Director of Citizen Schools Massachusetts. “As one of our deepest partners, we greatly value the support from EMC over the last six years, and look forward to continuing this relationship with Dell EMC.”

“Dell EMC is committed to closing the learning gap and giving young people access to the technology and skills they need to thrive in a connected world,” said David Goulden, President, Dell EMC. “We’re incredibly pleased to build upon our long relationship with Citizen Schools, and applaud the great work they do through their Expanded Learning Time programs for the communities in which they serve.”

This gift will directly support Citizen Schools hands-on STEM programming at sites in Massachusetts, for the 2016-2017 school year. Students who participate in STEM apprenticeships with Citizen Schools report 80% interest in pursuing a STEM career compared to 33% nationwide.  Since 2008, EMC has contributed more than $1.4 million to Citizen Schools programming in Massachusetts, North Carolina and California. In that time, EMC employees have taught over 55 semester-long apprenticeships in science and technology fields including engineering, aviation, internet security, web design, robotics and entrepreneurship.


Media Contact:

Darcie Fisher

darcie@ellisstrategies.com  | 774-281-3506


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 AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” 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 http://www.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.


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

Press Release: Bay Area Students Present Their Work in Technology and the Sciences

CONTACT:  Holly Trippett, Public Relations Associate, Citizen Schools          301-452-3904, hollytrippett@citizenschools.org

         Faith Lin, Civic Engagement Manager, Citizen Schools

         951-801-1168, faithlin@citizenschools.org 




Bay Area Students Present Their Work in Technology and The Sciences

Middle schoolers showcase hands-on STEM experiences at EMC Corporation

May 21, 2013 – Redwood City, CA – Citizen Schools is hosting a region-wide event celebrating middle school students’ impressive science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) projects sponsored by EMC Corporation. Over the last 10 weeks, students have participated in enrichment apprenticeships taught by volunteer professionals who have shared their knowledge and passion in exciting and engaging ways. Tuesday’s WOW! event -- named after the reaction most adults have after seeing the projects -- is a chance for students to become the experts and teach-back what they have learned during their apprenticeships.

President Obama has created initiatives urging effective strategies in education, specifically in STEM education. Citizen Schools is on the front lines of this work, providing students with a longer learning day and hands-on projects that foster authentic learning experiences. By having community volunteers, or Citizen Teachers, sharing their passion, students have the advantage of learning real-life skills, creating connections to their school work and future professions.

The STEM WOW! event will take place on May 21st, at EMC from 5:30-7:30PM. During the event, students and Citizen Teachers, representing four Bay Area schools and 11 different apprenticeships, will showcase their work. There will also be a special spotlight on The Tech Challenge apprenticeship.

The Tech Challenge apprenticeship taught students design thinking as a process to apply to any problem. The project culminated with a competition at The Tech Museum of Innovation, where 3,000 students from Northern California competed to land a sensitive instrument package (represented by an egg) on a rocky asteroid surface. Students compiled a notebook documenting their design process and presented to a panel of judges. All Citizen Schools teams successfully landed at least one package at the event.

Keren Pavese, Program Manager at EMC, and one of the first Citizen Teachers to teach The Tech Challenge apprenticeship, noted, “Throughout this apprenticeship, the students worked through challenges, and leveraged team effort, determination, and creativity to reach their goals. It truly has been an honor to teach Citizen Schools’ students, to see their excitement for The Tech Challenge, and to witness a small idea grow into something much bigger.”

During Tuesday’s event, presenting apprenticeships include: There’s an App for That; Robotics; Women in Business; What is a Computer; and more. Projects will be reviewed by special guest judges, including one of the founders of Pandora and currently the CFO of OnLive, Etienne Handman; OnLive COO and Acting CEO, Charlie Jablonski; Vice President of Operations at The Tech Museum of Innovation, Bill Bailor; and Vice President of Engineering at AfterCollege, Steve Girolami.

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income children across the country. Citizen Schools uniquely mobilizes thousands of adult volunteers to help improve student achievement by teaching skill-building apprenticeships. The organization’s programs blend these real-world learning projects with rigorous academic and leadership development activities, preparing students in the middle grades for success in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life.

Founded in Boston in 1995, Citizen Schools has grown into a national network of thirty-one partner schools serving over 5,300 students in low-income communities across eight states. The organization partners with seven schools in the Bay Area, serving over 1,110 students and engaging approximately 300 volunteers in the academic year.

# # #

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! 

Radio Disney AM1480 & EMC Bring Learning to Life for Kids

How can you get a room full of 100 middle school students hooked on science and technology in just one afternoon? Bring in the professionals-- EMC and Radio Disney AM1480. Over the last several months, leading information technology company EMC and Radio Disney AM1480, the top radio network devoted to kids, teamed up to bring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to life for Citizen Schools students and their peers from coast to coast.

In November, 2012 the Radio Disney AM1480 DJs began their Citizen Schools tour just outside of Boston at the Orchard Gardens K-8 School for a STEM Challenge event, sponsored by Citizen Schools' partner EMC. 100 6th and 7th grade students participated in the event, which was designed to get students excited about pursuing STEM careers in the future. Over the next several months, Radio Disney AM1480 headed down south to North Carolina where they visited another partner school in Charlotte and then traveled across the country to visit six Citizen Schools sites in California.

All of the events were a huge success. Students jumped out of their seats, cheering on their classmates in a science trivia game and math competition. After what seemed like a purely fun event, students left understanding STEM concepts such as covalent bonds, computer processing units, and geo-construction. They were excited about science and technology and even imagining what their future STEM careers could be like. Here’s what a few of them had to say...

“Talking about STEM today got me more excited about being an engineer when I grow up”- Juan, 6th grade student

“I was inspired to get out and explore”- Marzjon, 6th grade student

“I changed what I want to be when I grow up to something in technology!”- Melissa, 6th grade student

These moments of inspiration wouldn't be possible without the partnership and investment from EMC—which supports Citizen Schools in bringing STEM learning to life for middle school students from low-income areas. In partnership with Radio Disney AM1480, EMC is dedicated to building future engineers, scientists, computer programmers and more.

An Otherworldly Experience, And a Spectacular Failure

Picture this: It’s the not-too-distant future, and quantities of some of Earth’s rarest and most precious minerals are running out. We know that these minerals exist on certain asteroids and we’re ready to send un-manned spacecraft to check them out, but we’ll need to deploy fragile scientific measuring tools once we land on the asteroids to send data back to Earth. How would you deploy the measuring tools so that they reach their destinations without breaking? Photo by Alison Taggart Barone

Thanks to a partnership with EMC, RAFT and the San Jose Tech Museum, Citizen Schools’ students are cracking the case, and learning a whole lot about physics and engineering in the process.  Citizen Teacher Larry “Dr. B” Barone reported,

"The kids transformed themselves into master problem solvers, addressing challenges like my NASA colleagues -- only with more hands-on prototyping than math, more duct tape than circuit boards.  They kept journals, organized their teams, and innovatively repurposed everyday objects. You could see frequent eye popping moments of discovery each week as they brainstormed, built, and tested their ideas. The whole experience was magical as our kids learned from failure, embraced the chaos of innovation, and started their transformation into design thinkers."

Photo by Alison Taggart Barone

This is the second year that Citizen Schools participated in The Tech Challenge. In 2011, Keren Pavese, EMC’s Program Manager for their Western Division Office of Sustainability, Community Outreach and Diversity, and Jessica Graham, Citizen Schools’ then-Director of Civic Engagement, noticed that students like ours – from lower performing schools with limited science and technology resources – weren’t participating in the Tech Challenge described above, and were missing out on a great hands-on learning opportunity. But that changed when volunteers began teaching the Tech Challenge curriculum, giving our students the chance to apply what they were learning in class to a fun project that had relevancy in the real world.

Photo by Taggart Barone

Pavese, one of the first Citizen Teachers to teach the Tech Challenge, noted, “Throughout this apprenticeship, the students worked through success and failure, and leveraged team effort, determination, and creativity. It truly has been an honor to teach Citizen Schools students, to see their excitement for the Tech Challenge, and to witness a small idea grow into something much bigger. This year, we more than doubled the number of Citizen Schools students taking the apprenticeship!”

Said Barone, “With a few adults to join us next year, I’m sure we can get over a hundred Citizen School students to The Tech for the 2014 challenge – rumor has it that it will have to do with the wind.”

Regardless of the outcome of the Tech Challenge competition, one thing is clear – when scientists and engineers take the time to teach those topics to kids, everybody wins.

A Perfect Pairing: Tech Companies & Middle Schools

In music, everyone knows that good things come in pairs - Hall and Oates, Simon and Garfunkel, Sonny and Cher. Less obvious, however, are the pairs that drive success for students - hands-on learning and more time, Citizen Teachers and Teaching Fellows and, one of our favorites, technology companies and middle schools.

At Citizen Schools, the latter pairing enables us to deliver high-quality, experiential STEM learning opportunities to underserved students across the country, and EMC has been at the forefront of that effort since 2008. In that time, EMC has...

  • Taught 25 apprenticeships, on topics from electrical engineering to web design

  • Engaged 87 employee volunteers, impacting nearly 375 students

  • Fostered a connection between Citizen Schools and the San Jose Tech Museum, which resulted in our students first-ever participation in the competitive Tech Challenge program

  • Led numerous one-time explorations to their offices to share their STEM work and to encourage students to pursue STEM studies and careers

  • Provided crucial financial support to our programs in CA, MA and NC, including sponsorship of and attendance at our 6 Degrees networking events

One Citizen Schools alumnus, MacCalvin Romain, even went on to a successful career at EMC! Check out his story:


In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week and the hard work and dedication of EMC’s employee volunteers, Citizen Schools is pleased to recognize EMC. We've seen the incredible impact on students when technology companies like EMC partner with middle schools. The best things really do come in pairs!


Engineering the Future

emc1Your typical middle school student, when asked about her career plans, might tell you she wants to be a musician or an astronaut. Maybe a marine biologist. Citizen Schools’ students are a little bit different, though. On a recent trip to Lowe’s Grove Middle School in North Carolina, Jerry Diehl, Principal Test Engineering Lead at EMC and a Citizen Teacher, asked that classic question. What do you want to be when you grow up? Marcus, an eighth grader, declared “I’m going to be an electrical engineer at EMC!”

Marcus is one of a group of students engaged in an electrical engineering apprenticeship through Citizen Schools, and he has been for three semesters strong. EMC volunteers have taught this apprenticeship for nine consecutive semesters. Although electrical engineering is not a subject typically taught in middle school, EMC helps students make the critical connection that their education can lead to exciting careers in the future. With hands-on lessons in which students build solar cars, sound monitors, light displays and more, they get hooked on learning and hooked on the possibility of pursuing a career at a company like EMC.

Diehl said, “The members of this team volunteer their time for this apprenticeship for various reasons. For me, it satisfies my desire to do something impactful for today’s youth. Citizen Schools’ focus on middle school aligns with the time when a student needs to be educated about careers. They aggressively champion STEM initiatives and provide the tools necessary for success. Citizen Schools’ core values are exactly what attracted me to become a Citizen Teacher!”

emc3Capitalizing on this critical time in a student’s education, the team builds upon their self-written curriculum every semester. Constantly adapting it to make it more engaging, they also find ways to make key connections to college, and to the preparation that can begin as early as  middle school. With each semester, they become even better mentors --finding new ways to get the kids excited. No wonder Marcus wanted to come back again and again!

“My favorite part is building a bond with the kids,” commented Diehl, “Each student is different and we design our program with that in mind. I would have to say that the greatest moment occurs when you see that look in students’ eyes and know that you have connected with them.”

We call “that look” a moment of discovery. It’s when a light bulb turns on, and a student makes a life changing connection. Jerry Diehl and the team of volunteers from EMC’s electrical engineering apprenticeship are ensuring that these moments of discovery aren't few and far between, but a constant part of their classroom experience. Thanks to them, young Marcus and many others have found their calling.

Once a Citizen Schools student like Marcus, a young man named MacCalvin Romain also found his calling years ago in an EMC apprenticeship in Boston. He is now an Associate IT Business Consultant at EMC, a dream he discovered as a 6th grade student who learned to love computers.


EMC won't stop at MacCalvin and Marcus. With their commitment to inspiring students, I think we’ll be seeing many more bright young engineers at EMC in the future.


The Land of the Pine: North Carolina Regional Profile

The National Teaching Fellowship is the opportunity to serve middle school students through the expanded learning day in one of eight states.  This is the third of a regional series to profile each of our locations. “I've lived in New York and Washington, D.C., and North Carolina is my favorite place that I've ever lived.” –Zach Bradt, Teaching Fellow Class of ‘13

So you’re an ambitious, adventurous college senior about to set out on a path to career success.  As you consider The National Teaching Fellowship, consider this: North Carolina.

The Recruitment and Admissions Team sat down with North Carolina Operations Manager Sara-Kathryn Ferrell and second-year Teaching Fellow Zach Bradt on why the Fellowship is great down South...

Teaching Fellows at MLK Jr. Middle School

Southern Hospitality

The first year of the Fellowship is tough.  You will learn how to not only instruct students, but also how to communicate with corporate volunteers and project manage.  All Citizen Schools regions will support you, but the advantage of working in North Carolina is having a smaller team and friendly citizens.  Operations Manager Sara-Kathryn Ferrell says Teaching Fellows have more of an opportunity to take leadership and regional roles. Currently serving Teaching Fellow Zach Bradt adds that after school hours, Fellows can be found at a local baseball game, going out to dinner, or just hanging out on the weekends.

Student Speakers at the NASCAR Hall of Fame

A Life Between Weekdays

Because the cost of living in North Carolina is relatively low, Teaching Fellows are able to enjoy activities that range from sporting events to day trips to the coast. Charlotte and Durham both offer unique and fun atmospheres. Charlotte is home to professional teams in football and basketball, a National Whitewater Center, an Uptown nightlife, and is home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Durham is in the heart of Tobacco Road college basketball and has a famous minor league baseball team, the Durham Bulls. The neighboring cities of Raleigh and Chapel Hill also offer sporting events, concerts and delicious barbecue. Whether in Charlotte or Durham, both cities are a few hours away from the mountains or the beach.

Mountains AND Beach?  Hikers and Swimmers, Rejoice!

Indeed.  Again, low-cost outdoor entertainment is readily available in North Carolina.  Mountain-wise, North Carolina is home to Mount Mitchell, which is the tallest mountain in the Eastern United States, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.  You could even visit where part of “The Hunger Games” was filmed in the Pisgah National Forest.  Beach-wise, Wrightsville Beach near Wilmington is not far.  Wilmington, or “Filmington,” is where the famous television series of “Dawson’s Creek” and “One Tree Hill” were filmed.

EMC Apprenticeship at Lowe's Grove Middle School

Notable Partners

North Carolina has strong partnerships with University of North Carolina at Charlotte, EMC, Cisco and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Apprenticeships this semester even include one called “Pet Responsibility” where a member of the Charlotte Police Department brings in their canine companion and is teaching the students about how to properly care for a pet. Another notable one is "MAD Science" where students make cell phone applications, collect data and analyze the results.

So if you like friendly people, great barbecue and a comfortable cost of living, consider North Carolina.

The next deadline to apply for the National Teaching Fellowship is March 18. Apply here today! 

VIDEO: EMC Techie Teaches Back

In sixth grade, MacCalvin Romain discovered a path to success when volunteers taught him how to take apart and rebuild computers. He went on to graduate from college and start his career, now at EMC. But he never forgot the impact that hands-on learning experience had for him. Now, he has recruited some of his EMC colleagues to return to his old middle school and inspire a new generation of kids like him.

Watch his story:


EMC Volunteers of the Year

Elizabeth Ward is a Second Year Teaching Fellow at Citizen Schools North Carolina.

What does it take to go from great volunteer, to exceptional volunteer? It certainly takes commitment and dedication, as well as a relentless spirit for improvement. But, most of all, it takes passion.

Every year, the Volunteer Center of Durham, located in the heart of Durham, North Carolina hosts a reception to honor volunteers from the Durham community who support other nonprofits and organizations through community service. This year at the 37th Annual Key Volunteer Recognition luncheon, a group of electrical engineers from EMC won the Team Volunteer of the Year award for their long-time commitment to Citizen Schools North Carolina.

This group of six volunteers from EMC Apex has taught seven consecutive electrical engineering apprenticeships at Lowe’s Grove Middle School. That means about 100 students served and over 1,500 hours volunteered. Nothing says dedication like those impressive numbers.

Jerry Diehl, fearless leader of the EMC volunteer team, said, “If I were to come up with one adjective to describe my experience with Citizen Schools, I couldn't. I'd need at least three: Amazing, Collaborative, Solid. Each semester has provided new experiences for us; new students, new Citizen Teachers and new projects. The Citizen Schools organization has allowed us to focus on what we are good at. This is what allows us to shine.”

This team of Citizen Teachers is certainly shining. They have managed to turn a complex field like electrical engineering into a fun and engaging learning experience. They’ve transformed a group of rowdy middle schoolers into knowledgeable engineering apprentices whose products are high quality, well- made, and functional. And they’ve done it seven times.

Each semester the team tweaks their already stellar, original curriculum. They creatively demonstrate how electrical engineering works in real life by starting with the electronics basics, then introducing electrical engineering common tools and processes. Diehl said, “My favorite part is building a bond with the kids. Each kid is different and we design our program with that in mind. I would have to say that the greatest moments occur when you see ‘that look’ in their eyes when you have connected with them.”

With those deep connections, and by applying what they’ve learned in class, the students create a product that they then present to their proud parents and teachers at the WOW! showcase. They’ve made solar powered cars, a fiber-optics sign and even an electronic noise monitor for the school cafeteria which is still used every day.

Hong Zou, EMC Citizen Teacher, said, “If you are interested in teaching, this is a great place to give it a try. Teaching at Citizen Schools is a very rewarding experience and it feels so good when we witness the development in our students. This is what our team members believe in, and we are all passionate about, and enjoy doing it. EMC and Citizen Schools make it all possible.”

This group of volunteer champions is more than deserving of this great recognition from the Volunteer Center of Durham. They are a hard-working, passionate team that has become a vital part of the Citizen Schools family. The Durham community, EMC, and of course, Citizen Schools, are lucky to have people like this who will stop at nothing to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.


EMC and Citizen Schools: Watch Futures Activate

This spring, Citizen Schools students from McKinley Institute of Technology and Campbell Middle School in California worked alongside EMC Citizen Teachers to prepare for The Tech Challenge, an annual team design challenge to introduce students to the science and engineering process with a hands-on project geared towards solving a real-world problem. Citizen Schools’ students in the “Shake, Rattle, and Rescue” apprenticeship learned how to design and engineer a rescue device for an earthquake survivor stranded on the Golden Gate Bridge. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) experts and EMC employees, Ronaldo Ama, Florian Waas, Ron Schaffer, and Keren Pavese coached students on the engineer design process and the student’s final designs incorporated everything from remote control cranes, magnets, and Frisbees!

On event day and the Challenge’s 25th anniversary, students from across the Bay Area converged at The Tech Museum in San Jose, CA to compete for the fastest rescue mission and to win a coveted award from The Tech. Citizen Schools was represented by six teams of 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students from Redwood City and Campbell, CA.  Some of the teams suffered setbacks, but all felt accomplished for trying their best and persevering through technical problems. In the end, one of our teams (The Unicorn Warriors) was awarded the prize of Most Spectacular Failure in the 7th/8th grade division, a highly coveted award which commends the value of learning from failure as experienced by many engineers in Silicon Valley and beyond. Thanks to the leadership of our EMC Citizen Teachers, our students handled the chaos on event day with maturity. Students also learned an important lesson from their Citizen Teachers: it is important to give 110% effort, no matter how difficult the challenge.

Citizen Schools is proud to partner with EMC, a company dedicated to impacting the next generation of STEM leaders. In California, the partnership has reached new heights with EMC’s sponsorship of the STEM WOW! taking place on Thursday, May 29th at The Tech Museum.  Students from the “Shake, Rattle, and Rescue” apprenticeship and from robotics apprenticeships from across the region will get the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of an audience of STEM professionals from Silicon Valley. Students will get one final chance to test their rescue device and we are confident they will experience a successful mission!

Student Speech: How Citizen Schools Helped Me Flourish

Agostinha DePina is a senior at John D. O'Bryant High School in Boston. She will be attending Clark University next year. This is her speech from the Citizen Schools  2012 A WOW! Affair Gala. http://youtu.be/27YjyanxfS0

"Let me take you to my homeland. Bare feet feeling the hot sand, Chasing chickens, riding horses. These are my roots.

My name is Agostinha DePina, and I’m a senior at John D. O’Bryant High School.

I spent the first eight years of my life on the island of Fogo in Cape Verde where my parents grew up, and only my mom went to high school. We were really poor. I remember sleeping on the floor, hungry some nights with one dress and no shoes. But I also remember feeling free and happy.

I immigrated to the US when I was nine years of age. My parents brought me here for the opportunity. But I was terrified. I remember my first day of elementary school being in the big yellow bus in the middle of strangers, without knowing a word of English, and entering a classroom where I did not know what to do or what to say, so I placed myself in a comfort corner.

I might have gotten lost right away if it weren’t for my second grade teacher, Ms. Gomes. With her charismatic and intellectual teaching, she taught me English, and helped me see what was possible in my new country. In the Cape Verdean culture, women are taught that their dreams of success are their husband’s dreams, that they don’t need a voice because the man has a voice. But in the United States, I saw things I had never seen before: girls of all ages going to school, mothers being independent and working, and women striving to be a part of something. Ms. Gomes showed me that women can become queens without a king. But I was still shy—a quiet girl with a lot to say, but with no voice.

For several years I was a passionate student, always eager to go to school. My mom and my dad were always supportive of me. I could see how hard they worked for my six siblings and me—my mom is a housekeeper at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel and my dad is a cleaner at UMass Boston. They told me every day that I am responsible for my future and my success.

However, as classes became more rigorous and the material was harder to understand, my parents’ motivational speeches were not enough. In sixth and seventh grade, I couldn’t keep my grades up, and I began to lose my drive for school.

In eighth grade, though, I was lucky. I got a support network that kept me from going off track. A group of people believed in my potential and gave me the knowledge and skills that have gotten me where I am today. These were the people of Citizen Schools.

My team leader, Julianne, would always come over and talk with me. Every time I had a test or quiz at school, Julianne would help me study. Then professionals from Putnam Investments came and taught us interview skills. Two volunteers from Choate, Hall, and Stewart—Eleanor and Cara—worked with me on writing essays that would be published in a magazine. They became my mentors.

And every Tuesday and Thursday, I took apprenticeships. I measured my school's carbon footprint one semester, and I tried creative writing. We created stories by observing regular day people during their daily activities. My Citizen Teacher Jennifer made me read my poem to my peers, where I overcame my shyness.

Julianne and the Teaching Fellows took us to visit eight different colleges. I loved visiting Brown and Trinity. A panel of Trinity students talked to us about their experience. Initially, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to college. But, I remember one student talked about how Trinity College really made it possible for her to attend college and persevere. I knew that if she could do it, I could overcome any obstacle I face.

I am proud to say that I've just been admitted to Clark University, where I’ll major in communications.

But I would not have made it into Clark, or even be graduating from the great high school I attend, without Citizen Schools. I wouldn’t have discovered my passion for writing. And most importantly, the people I saw coming to my school and giving back made me realize that my aspiration in life is to give back. I am currently writing and performing with Teen Voices Magazine, where I use writing to empower other teen girls. My dream is to start a non-profit for girls, to help them find the confidence that others have helped me find, and give other girls the opportunities that many women never receive.

All these people—Jennifer, Eleanor, Cara—they saw my talents and potential at the right time in my life, and they helped me reveal it. I’m especially grateful to my team leader Julianne, who came over and sat next to that shy girl. I’m excited to say that Julianne is here tonight.

Thank you all. All of you in this room tonight are making it possible for teens to stay on track. You who volunteer, or send your employees to volunteer, are changing kids’ lives. Your donations bring Citizen Schools to more schools, and help students discover the drive to go to college. You realize that there is nothing more important than education, and you know that you have a role to play in helping teens learn what they want to become in life.

The girl who walked barefoot on the heat of the Cape Verdean sand With one dress to wear, no money in her hands Is the same girl who is now making her dreams come true Now it’s my turn to give back so that everyone can see How this Cape Verdean girl who was a slave to poverty Is now the master of her destiny.

Thank you all for supporting Citizen Schools. Please be generous tonight."

This year at A WOW! Affair, over 400 people were in attendance including many of our biggest supporters. In addition to Agostinha's inspiring speech, the event honored Citizen Teachers and corporate sponsors for answering the call to transform education. Donald Gregorio, Executive Assistant at Jack Morton Worldwide, was recognized as Citizen Teacher of the Year for his work on the Brand You apprenticeship. As a National Leadership Partner of Citizen Schools and one of our leading providers of volunteer teachers, Cognizant was also honored for applying the same kind of passion and innovation to improving learning for students as they do to their business. Francisco D'Souza, CEO of Cognizant, accepted the honor on behalf of the company.

Other corporate sponsors at the event included Bain Capital Chidren’s Charity, WilmerHale, LLP, ArcLight Capital Partners, Edwards Wildman Palmer, LLP, EMC Corporation, Jack Morton Worldwide, Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo, PC, Ropes & Gray, LLP, and State Street Corporation.

Corporate Employees Stepping Up to Teach

This spring, over 1,500 volunteer Citizen Teachers are teaching nearly 500 apprenticeships across the country. About 60 percent of those apprenticeships are being taught by volunteers from partner organizations and almost 300 Citizen Teachers come from ten companies: Google, Cisco, Fidelity, Cognizant, Bank of America, EMC, AOL, Facebook, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard. These corporate volunteers are teaching our students about electrical engineering, investing, creating and marketing products, the science in baking, documentary filmmaking, LED technology, and so much more.

In New York, 230 sixth grade students from East Harlem and the Bronx visit the Google NY headquarters each week. Google is offering a wide range of exciting apprenticeships this semester including “Gourmet Google,” which looks at the cultural, biological, and economic aspects of food.

In North Carolina, Cisco employees are leading the “Brand You/Networking 101” apprenticeship, which teaches students about key marketing and business concepts. Cisco is also offering a math focused apprenticeship, “Building Blocks with Math,” which focuses on the fundamentals of math and design through the creation of 2D and 3D scalable models.

These are just a few examples of the tremendous learning opportunities our students are exposed to thanks to the support of our partners and Citizen Teachers. Learn more about how your company can get involved.

ABC 5 Boston: Interview with MacCalvin Romain

MacCalvin Romain, EMC Corporation employee and Citizen Schools volunteer and alumnus, was interviewed by ABC 5 Boston in a segment that aired on Sunday, January 22. In the interview, MacCalvin discusses what inspired him in sixth grade as a Citizen Schools student, his current career at EMC, and his volunteer work at his old school, the Irving Middle School in Roslindale, MA. Watch the full segment here!

Education News Weekly Roundup

It has been an exciting week for Citizen Schools! Following the Google grant announcement on Wednesday, Citizen Schools was mentioned in many different news articles and blogs. This post marks the first weekly roundup of Citizen Schools news and educations stories. Below you will find this week’s Citizen Schools news coverage,  including two videos,  as well as a couple education stories. Look for the education news weekly roundup every Friday for Citizen Schools news and education related articles! Citizen Schools news:

  • The New York Times, The Opinion Pages – 12/11/2011 – The Unaddressed Link Between Poverty and Education – This opinion piece is written by Edward Fiske, who is on the board of Citizen Schools New Jersey, and his wife Helen Ladd. The op-ed mentions Citizen Schools and looks at the disadvantages students in impoverished areas face and discusses how policy leaders are currently dealing with the issue in education reform.
  • Boston Magazine Blog, Boston Daily – 12/12/2011 – Students Take on Celtics Management - This blog post looks at the “Managing the Celtics” apprenticeship that students at Orchard Gardens took part in this fall semester.
  • Forbes – 12/12/2011 – Do Americans Have 21st Century Jobs Skills? – This article by Howard Elias, President and COO of EMC, explores why so many jobs in the technology field are left unfilled despite the growing number of positions available. Citizen Schools is mentioned as an organization that creates a passion for STEM among students.
  • The Boston Herald – 12/14/2011 – Google Gives $3M for Hub Nonprofit’s Afterschool Efforts – This article focuses specifically on the grant that Google awarded Citizen Schools.
  • The Boston Globe – 12/14/2011- Google to Give $6M to Local Groups – The article mentions Citizen Schools as an organization that Google singled out “for its work in exposing students to science, technology, engineering, and math education, and for expanding the “horizons of underprivileged youngsters.’’
  • Mass High Tech – 12/14/2011 – Google to Give $6M in STEM Grants to Boston Groups – An article announcing the grant mentions Citizen Schools.
  • The Herald Sun – 12/14/2011- Citizen Schools Wraps Up First Semester at Neal - A great reflection on the successful first semester at Neal in Durham, NC.
  • Mass High Tech, Blog – 12/14/2011 – STEM Needs to Branch Out – This article is written by Rodney Brown who was a “celebrity” judge at the Boston Building & Innovation WOW! The piece discusses Brown’s positive experience at the WOW! and praises the work Citizen Schools is doing to improve STEM education.
  • Boston.com - 12/14/2011 – Google to Give $6M to Local Groups as Part of Effort to Help Education and Tech Nonprofits – This article announces the grants made by Google and specifically highlights the grant made to Citizen Schools.
  • Boston Business Journal – 12/14/2011- Google Grants $6M to 3 Boston Nonprofits – A brief announcement of the Google grants that mentions Citizen Schools.
  • Network World, Open Source Matters – 12/14/2011 – Google’s Impressive Year of Philanthropy – An announcement of the Google grants that specifically mentions Citizen Schools.
  • Skoll Foundation – 12/14/2011 – Google Supports Five Skoll Awardees – An article that announces the Google grants and highlights Citizen Schools.
  • The Boston Globe – 12/14/2011- Let Students Stay Near Homes – But Offer Choice As Needed – Article discusses the zoning rules in Boston that prevent kids from attending some schools. Citizen Schools is mentioned as “a highly-quality nonprofit provider” that provides three hours of after-school mentoring at $1,500 per student, the same amount that it costs to bus students across the city.

A few additional blogs also posted about Citizen Schools this week:

  • Moxie Q – 12/13/2011 – Shien-Ru Tsao Pulls Herself and Others Up By the Bootstraps – Shein-Ru Tsao runs a social philanthropy organization, Project 116, that is partnered with Citizen Schools. The article features the work she has done this year with students through her entrepreneurship and product design apprenticeship.
  • Nonprofit-force.org – 12/13/2011 – How Citizen Schools has Deployed Salesforce Chatter -  An article that looks at how Citizen Schools uses Chatter.
  • The Official Google Blog – 12/14/2011 – Giving Back in 2011 – A post on Google’s official blog that features the grant given to Citizen Schools at the top of the page among other STEM organizations that received grants.
  • Students for Ed Reform – 12/14/2011 – How Students Should Guide Policy – An article written by Allie Kimmel, a senior at Harvard who is also a student teacher in Boston, that looks at the experiences her students have had so far this semester. Kimmel mentions Citizen Schools as a program that one of her students could benefit from because the program would “introduce him to the working world [and] emphasize the importance of securing a high school diploma.”

Two great videos were also posted this week on Youtube featuring Citizen Schools students, Teaching Fellows, and Google Citizen Teachers:

  • 12/13/2011 – Dear Mr. Rohit… - Students at Elmhurst Community Prepatory School in Oakland, CA made a video showing all of the things that their teacher Mr. Rohit taught them this semester. It looks like the students had a successful fall!
  • 12/13/2011 – Google Citizen Schools Video – Google volunteers share their apprenticeship experiences and challenge people to “Step Up for Citizen Schools” and volunteer as a Citizen Teacher.

Education articles:

  • The New York Times – 12/15/2011 – Failure Rate of Schools Overstated, Study Says -  An article that discusses the new failure rate of all of the nation’s public schools reported by a new study, which is up to 48% from 39% in 2010.
  • Education Week – 12/16/2011 – 9 States Win Race to Top Early Learning Grants – A piece discussing the nine states, California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington, that received Race to the Top early learning grants.

The Education News Weekly Roundup is brought to you by Holly Trippett, the Public Relations Intern at Citizen Schools and a senior at Emerson College studying Marketing Communications.

Forbes: Do Americans Have 21st Century Job Skills?

Do Americans Have 21st Century Job Skills? Forbes

December 12, 2011

Forbes published an article today written by Howard Elias, EMC President and COO. The piece explores why so many jobs in the technology field are left unfilled despite the growing number of positions available. Citizen Schools is mentioned as an organization that creates a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) among students. Read the full story here.

US News & World Report: Industry Must Do its Part to Educate the Workforce of the Future

Industry Must Do its Part to Educate the Workforce of the Future US News & World Report

October 11, 2011

EMC President and COO Howard Elias recently authored an op-ed in US News & World Report online, discussing the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education for K-12 and college age students. As the need for STEM professionals in America continues to grow, it is more important than ever that students learn and practice STEM skills that will help them – and our country – succeed in a competitive global economy. Through their financial and volunteer support of Citizen Schools, EMC is helping to ensure a robust future STEM workforce. Read the full article here. Visit Citizen Schools plus EMC to learn more about EMC's work with Citizen Schools.

Networking Opens Doors for Students

There is no shortage of ambition at Citizen Schools. Our students dream of becoming doctors, lawyers, scientists and engineers. Earlier this month, Citizen Schools' 8th Grade Academy program in California hosted an event aimed at helping students learn the networking skills that they need to make those dreams come true. Together, over 100 volunteers from a diverse list of companies and organizations attended the "6 Degrees of the Bay Area" event hosted by VISA and Google. The event offered 150 8th Grade Academy students the opportunity to practice and refine the critical life skills of networking and interviewing. Students worked with volunteers to introduce themselves to community leaders from across the area and explore the available resources that can help pave the path to their dream jobs.

"The event was very interesting," recalls Estefania, an eighth grader at the McKinley Institute of Technology in Redwood City where Citizen Schools runs programs. "I learned about jobs I've never heard of. I never knew there were businesses that invested in other businesses!"

Event sponsors - VISA, Google, Goldman Sachs, EMC and Bank of America.