ABP brings STEM to life at a Boston high school
Alliance of Black Professionals (ABP) members opened up a world of STEM possibilities for inner city kids recently when they shared information – and their personal stories – with English High School of Boston ninth graders.
“We wanted to drive home the importance of STEM, and let these teens know about the wide array of career opportunities available in STEM fields,” says ABP’s Abeni Kendrick. “We emphasized the importance of diversity in STEM fields – sadly lacking across the nation right now. And we reminded these young teens to focus in school because they can truly be, and do, whatever they put their minds to!”
Ninth graders at English High – one of our country’s first public high schools, and former Boston Gas headquarters – were energized by the messages. They also appreciated the chance to interact with, and learn from, our employees. Our six ABP members at the school shared how they ended up in STEM-related roles in the utilities industry.
Especially inspiring to the young female students was ABP Co-Chair Tatiana Roc’s powerful story of being the daughter of hard- working, Haitian immigrant parents who had very high expectations for their children. She talked about how tough – but worthwhile – it was to be the only woman, and woman of color, early on in her career in the gas construction field, where she managed men twice her age.
ABP Executive Sponsor Cedric Williams connected with the teens when he talked about growing up in a household led by a strong, loving mother, and being the smart kid in a rough neighborhood in Compton, CA. He spoke about rising up against peer pressure, and how choosing to do the right thing paid off for him.
Gabrielle Prescott, Regina Maddox and Abeni shared how their unexpected utility career paths turned out to be the best thing they ever did, while Asad Akinfolarin and Robert Obi-Tabot talked about how they turned their love of math and science into their dreams of being engineers.
Students also got to test their STEM knowledge by playing an interactive quiz game set to music, and came away from the day with cool ‘parting gifts.’ Long story short, the experience was inspiring and motivating for all. And English High teachers asked us to come back to host a similar presentation for their 12th grade students … which we certainly will!