It’s been two years since we formally launched the Informatica Next 25 initiative, a seven-year commitment focusing on preparing underrepresented middle school students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Partnering with The Public Education Foundation (PEF), 25 middle school students from Cashman Middle School – a STEM-certified magnet school in Las Vegas – were selected to participate in the program, following them from middle school through high school graduation. In addition to academic support, the program includes critical elements such as one-on-one student engagement, family involvement, and activities designed to help close the opportunity and access gap for these students.
Over the last two years, we at Informatica have worked closely with the PEF and members of the local Las Vegas community to ensure success of the program. Now at this critical time, many of the students are entering high school. And despite all that is currently going on in the world, I am so pleased to see the program entering its third year and each and every one of the students thriving.
I had the privilege to participate in the second Genius Camp held this year. Genius Camps are a foundational component of the Initiative, which help prepare the students beyond academics by offering focused, personalized learning pathways to build self-confidence, improve social skills, and promote a more positive outlook of the future.
Here I spoke with the students about the important role data plays in addressing global pandemics like COVID-19, as this is a great example of the work many of our customers – like those in the healthcare and federal space – are doing around the world at this very moment in time. The hope is to share real-life examples with the 25 students, so they continue to be inspired for how they want to shape their lives and careers and make an impact in their communities and beyond. In fact, all 25 of the students have been working on projects over the last two years as part of the Next 25 initiative that aim to solve world problems like gun violence and poverty – they inspire me!
Having the opportunity to speak with the students and hear their questions, I have no doubt in my mind that these young adults will accomplish great things. I am so pleased to know that we at Informatica are able to provide them with additional support and guidance, and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish in high school and beyond.
Check out this video to learn more and hear from a few of the students themselves.