February 16, 2022 – The Arizona Educational Foundation is the recipient of a $100,000 Boeing grant supporting work in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and equity programming. Boeing is a longtime proponent of STEM education with school-based partnerships throughout Arizona, particularly in Mesa, where the company manufactures the AH-64 Apache helicopter. Boeing also has a core commitment to serving communities, denouncing discrimination and harassment of any kind. The $100,000 grant provided to the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) is part of a $50 million investment over the next four years to improve STEM opportunities for K-12 students and will build more inclusive opportunities within the communities where Boeing employees live and work.
The mission of AEF is to celebrate excellence and cultivate equity in Pre-K through 12th grade Arizona public schools. Boeing has been a staunch advocate of STEM education, and a portion of the grant funding will support AEF’s teachSTEM initiative, a unique program for junior high and high school students that raises awareness about the need for more STEM teachers.
“Arizona is a major hub for technology, yet our state has a severe teacher shortage, especially in areas like math and science,” explains Kim Graham, AEF executive director. “teachSTEM provides classroom-based opportunities for students to build STEM workforce skills, learn about career options from STEM subject matter experts and also discover how critical teachers are to the future of any STEM workforce. Everyone’s story includes a teacher, so every engineer, every scientist, every doctor found their way to that career by way of a teacher.”
”Teachers can inspire students’ career choices, and it’s especially important that they have diverse role models to connect to,” said Christina Upah, Director, Mesa Site and Apache Operations and AEF board member. “While equity, diversity and inclusion are part of our values at Boeing, we are equally committed to expanding our reach in the communities where our employees live and work. That is why we are so excited to partner with AEF on this program.”
The remainder of the grant from Boeing will support a diversity, equity, and inclusion program for nonprofits, educators, and businesses called Our World. Our World training provides the tools needed to build culturally inclusive environments; helps individuals to recognize and combat discrimination; and fosters open communication about the issues of bias, race, identity, and social justice.
Both teachSTEM and Our World utilize the talents and expertise of Arizona Teachers of the Year and Ambassadors for Excellence in Education.
“It’s critical that teacher voice is at the heart of these programs,” emphasizes Graham. AEF runs the state’s Arizona Teacher of the Year program, with the annual winner becoming Arizona’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year. “There is a great deal of misinformation around the concepts of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Through Our World, AEF is able to provide training that lifts up the needs and voices of all people.”
For more information about teachSTEM or Our World, contact Kim Graham, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 421-9376.
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About Arizona Educational Foundation:
The mission of AEF is to celebrate excellence and cultivate equity in Pre-K-12th grade Arizona public education. We do this through a variety of programs for teachers, administrators, and students. Some of our programs shine a spotlight on excellence; others provide a stepping stone to help support schools and educators. In addition to the Arizona Teacher of the Year program, AEF also coordinates the Arizona State Spelling Bee, the A+ School of Excellence Award, the Principals Leadership Academy of Arizona, teachSTEM, and Take Your Legislator to School. AEF was founded in 1983 by then State Superintendent of Public Education, Carolyn Warner, who felt a nonprofit needed to be established to champion public education and recognize the great work of public school educators.
About The Boeing Company:
As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing's diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company's core values of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at www.boeing.com.
MEDIA CONTACT FOR AEF:
Kim Graham l 615-509-7422
MEDIA CONTACT for BOEING:
Tiffany Pitts | 714-329-3027