CampUS

ASAS STEM CAMPUS EVENT LETS OUR EMPLOYEES GIVE BACK

This is a guest post by two Teza employees, Kelly and Lou, about their recent volunteer experience at After-School All-Stars STEM CampUs event, sponsored by Teza Technologies. STEM CampUs is a five-day immersion program that prepares at-risk eight graders for high school and encourages them to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Teza Technologies and Misha Malyshev are proud to support events like STEM CampUs that provide educational opportunities for students.

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Lou: Focused on encouraging STEM pursuits

As a father of two children, it was great to be able to volunteer with a program focused on encouraging students to pursue an education and career in STEM. Both professionally and personally, this is a passion of mine. For example, my 11-year-old son is especially interested in video games, so I’ve been working to translate his love of video games into a broader understanding of STEM.

At STEM CampUs I had the opportunity to judge the STEM app competition. I was impressed by how much thought the students had put into their presentations. When we asked them questions it was clear they’d considered the different kinds of feedback they might receive from the judges and the audience. The thoroughness of their presentations and their overall preparedness was truly remarkable!

After the competition, Kelly and I were able to sit down with some of the students for dinner and one-on-one conversations. I was happy to answer their questions about pursuing a career in STEM and to share my experience majoring in computer science and how I came to work at Teza.

Overall I had a great time getting to know the students and learning more about their individual interests and goals. I’m looking forward to participating in more events like this in the future!

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Kelly: Learning about students’ passion for STEM

While Lou was judging the STEM app competition, I enjoyed viewing the presentations as a member of the audience. Like Lou, I was very impressed with how much work the students had put into their creations!

For me, the best part of the event was talking with the kids during dinner. For example, I had a great conversation with a young girl who was hoping to attend Temple University in the future. She told me about how much she loves Philadelphia, her family and siblings, and how much she had enjoyed her time at STEM CampUs. I was blown away by her maturity – she was extremely goal-oriented and it was great to hear about her plans for the future and how ASAS was helping her along her path.

Overall, I was highly impressed with the event, and I’m looking forward to more ways that we can support ASAS in the future, including through ASAS’s Climb 4 Kids event in October!

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Young Achievers of Tomorrow Month

If Teza Technologies employees could connect a monthly observance to the company’s philanthropic mission, it would most closely resemble Young Achievers of Tomorrow Month. This observance is being highlighted throughout the month of May.

Teza Technologies employees and CEO Misha Malyshev are involved in organizations such as After-School All-Stars, buildOn, After School Matters and the Adler Planetarium. Employees volunteer their time as mentors, partnering with at-risk youth to establish positive relationships and share their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math. Misha serves on buildOn’s global leadership council and After School Matters’ advisory board.

These organizations focus on providing students with additional educational opportunities inside and outside of the classroom, typically catering to children living in urban areas. Past programs Teza Technologies employees have volunteered in include Girls Do Hack, Junior Research Scientists, CampUS and Civic Hack Day. For some students, their first introduction to STEM programs is through involvement with these organizations. Having new opportunities opens their eyes to a future they may not have felt was possible or even worth considering beforehand.

The organizations are not only special for their programs, but for the people involved. Studies show that children, especially those living in low socioeconomic status, are highly influenced by their surroundings and tend to become more like the peers with whom they associate. This is why volunteers that spend time mentoring students can make such an impact in their life. Research shows that youth who are involved in mentorship programs are more likely to graduate high school, have healthier relationships and lifestyle choices, enroll in college, have a higher self-esteem and are less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol.

According to the National Mentoring Partnership, there was an estimated 4.5 million young people in a structured mentoring relationship in 2014 in comparison to the estimated 300,000 from the early 1990s. Through a variety of programs, organizations such as After-School All-Stars, buildOn, After School Matters and the Adler Planetarium are inspiring students to become young achievers of tomorrow with the help from role models.

Op-Ed: The Role of Corporate Giving in Curbing Youth Violence

Misha Malyshev has written an op-ed for After-School All-Stars where he discusses the role of corporate giving in curbing youth violence. Over the 4th of July weekend in Chicago, 82 people were shot while we celebrated our national independence. Misha discusses how after school programs such as ASAS can play a pivotal role in setting our nation’s youth on the right path, instead of on a path to violence. Misha says corporate giving should play a central role in investing in the programs that work.

“You saw the headlines; everyone did. Eighty-two people were shot in Chicago over the July 4th holiday weekend. While we were celebrating our national independence, many of our fellow Chicagoans were learning first-hand that the promise of the American Dream was fading in contrast to the stark reality of daily violence. It shouldn’t be that way.

I am a Russian immigrant who came to this country to realize the promise of the American Dream and I have experienced incredible success with Teza Technologies, the company I founded in 2009. That success has caused me to consider which elements really enabled me to achieve so much. My commitment to giving back has led me toward people and organizations that share my belief that education is the key that ensures that young people today are able to achieve tomorrow. Thankfully, many leaders in the private sector share my view. It is my hope that by working together to increase educational opportunities for our youth, we can help decrease, and perhaps even eliminate the violence that so dramatically disrupts their lives.

Toward this end, this is my second year working with After-School All-Stars (ASAS), and their CampUs college preparation and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) training program. The program focuses on at-risk Middle School students and it gives them a place to be during the critical after-school hours of 3:00 to 6:00 pm and also the summer season. More than that, it gives them something to work towards. Eighty-three percent of the students who attended the inaugural CampUs Chicago in 2012 are still on track to graduate from high school on time. Eighty-five percent of ASAS students expect to earn a degree beyond high school.”

Read the full op-ed by Misha Malyshev.