The Be Great Foundation 501(c)3 is on a mission to make STEM and technology careers and businesses more accessible for individuals who come from marginalized communities.
In May of 2022, the foundation had it’s first scholar who completed and earned a Google IT Support Professional Certification through its program which targets young adults ages 17-25. Kevin Daniels had no previous background in IT, but now he’s well versed in networking, software, hardware, and security.
If Be Great Foundation has it’s way, it will ramp up to help 10 more people like Kevin each year, ultimately making a $100 million dollar economic impact over the course of 10 years right here in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. IT professionals earn on average $1 million dollars more on average than peers in other career paths.
In addition to its Certification Support Programs for young adults which also provides bi-weekly mentoring, resume prep, and job and interview coaching, Be Great Foundation also operates a number of programs for middle and high school students. Their Dreamers + Builders App & Game Design courses allowed participants to walk through the formal design process to create a prototype and pitch deck for an app and game derived from their own imagination.
Their Flight School Drone Academy teaches participants ages 10-14 about the fundamentals of drone operation including safety and FAA regulations. In this workshop participants also learn about the various career and entrepreneurial opportunities that are available to them once they obtain an FAA license which they may pursue as early as 16 years of age. After completing the workshop participants take home their own drone so that they can continue to practice and refine their flight skills.
These are just a few of the programs that Be Great Foundation offers, but perhaps one of their most impactful programs is the GEMS in STEM Virtual STEM Camp program where community members may apply to receive a scholarship to a virtual STEM Camp from the worlds #1 STEM Education Provider, iDTech. Through a partnership with Be Great Foundation students this Summer learned about 3D animation, how to create their own YouTube Channel, Python Coding with Automation, and Game Development in Minecraft to name a few. The best of these virtual STEM camps are typically cost prohibitive for the population that Be Great Foundation serves, so Be Great Foundation foots the bill for these camps which can start at $500 for one week.
On October 1st, 2022 from 10am-2pm, Be Great Foundation will host the 2nd annual Victory Lap 5K Walk & Community Day. It promises to be a day filled with fun, inspiration, and STEM Education. Attendees can expect live entertainment with inspiring performances from local artists, a drone demonstration and drone race, a VR exhibition, an Esports gaming tournament, vendors, food trucks and more. While last year’s event was a traditional 5K, this year’s event will be a free walk though participants will be encouraged to pledge a donation to Be Great Foundation. This event is inspired by Nipsey Hussle who was also a huge proponent of STEM Education in urban communities as he sought to build the Crenshaw to Silicon valley pipeline prior to his untimely demise in 2019.
Thanks to generous sponsors like The Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and Krave Kava Bar, this event will be a family-friendly introduction to and celebration of STEM education, entrepreneurship and equity for the entire community to enjoy. All proceeds raised will go towards providing additional scholarships for Be Great Foundation’s teen and young adult programs.