Boeing SAMSAT Academy First Cohort Graduates
Updated: Apr 29, 2021
Last month, the very first cohort of the Boeing SAMSAT Academy was recognized at a virtual graduation ceremony. During the ceremony, leadership from SAMSAT, Boeing, Port SA, as well as Boeing mentors, and community partners, San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA), SAMMinistries (SAMM) and Girls Inc., celebrated the student’s accomplishments with a digital badging presentation.
The eight-week program consisted of weekly lessons covering a variety of STEM topics. After completing the course materials, a certificate, a digital badge and a laptop were awarded to participants. This year the program expanded to include mentorships with employees from Boeing. This addition provides students with real world access to STEM careers in a practical and engaging way. A total of 21 students completed the program.
“Keeping teenagers engaged is difficult. SAMSAT rose to the challenge and created an experience that kids wanted to be a part of and looked forward to every week,” said SAMMinistries Education Intervention Specialist Natalie Muniz.
All of the partners agreed that the Boeing SAMSAT Academy program created a group environment that fueled kids’ interest and provided access to information about STEM not traditionally taught in schools. Students stayed engaged, inquisitive and excited to participate.
“At Girls Inc. we believe that providing opportunities for career exploration is a crucial part of individual growth. These mentorships gave our girls access to tangible careers in fields they may have never thought of before. Students walked away, being able to see themselves in the same roles as the mentors. It was awesome to watch,” said President & CEO of Girls Inc., Lea Rosenauer.
Completion of this program wasn’t without its challenges. Students persevered despite all of the disruptions due to the pandemic, an epic snowstorm and zoom fatigue. However, students pushed through, some of them even canceling other engagements just to continue participation because they loved the curriculum.
“Many of our kids aren’t happy with their school experience due to lack of resources. The SAMSAT Boeing Academy gave students exposure to mentors, exciting curriculum and helped bridge the digital divide all at the same time,” said SAHA’s Americorps Vista Volunteer Antoinette Lakey.
For many participants, the digital divide is an ongoing issue with many having one or less device per household. This program not only gave students access to STEM education and mentors, it gave them access to a device, something necessary to maintain life in the 2.0 world we live in today.