Two additional historically Black universities – Tennessee State University and Dillard University in New Orleans – have joined the Verizon Innovative Learning program. The program, established in 2015, provides middle school boys in 16 cities across the United States with hands-on training in STEM fields on college campuses during the summer with continued mentoring services throughout the school year. Both historically Black and Hispanic-serving educational institutions participate in the program.
During the summer, Black and Hispanic male students from middle schools near the minority-serving higher educational institutions will attend summer technology courses on university campuses, taught by professors. There they will learn the fundamentals of STEM subjects and complete hands-on projects that further develop their creativity and complex problem solving skills, and help them build an entrepreneurial mindset.
Justina Nixon-Saintil, director of education for the Verizon Foundation, stated that “over the last two years, we have seen firsthand the positive impact that exposing new technologies and providing ongoing mentorship has had on the minority males in this program. Our university partners and the resources they bring to the table are helping these young men realize their potential in becoming the change-makers of tomorrow’s tech-driven economy.”