MR. OCTOBER FOUNDATION FOR KIDS
Summary of STEM Program
Reggie started the Mr. October Foundation for Kids (“MOF”) over 20 years ago with the goal of helping to “bridge the digital divide” for the benefit of disadvantaged kids whose circumstances hampered their ability to achieve the goal of a good education. Reggie has never forgotten his father’s words: “Sports are great, son, but your legs will give out someday. Get an education; no one can ever take that away from you.”
Reggie’s efforts have made a difference. His Foundation has made repeated gifts to Morehouse College, Georgia Tech College of Engineering, the Detroit Public Schools, just to name a few. Additionally, the Foundation supports schools that are doing exceptional work for underserved kids, and schools such as Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, California. That school is among the select few that nurtures its students to succeed, and the kids do! Everyone, 100% of its graduates, attends a four-year college – thanks to the efforts of Eastside and its incredible staff. And, the school only admits kids whose parents have not attended college!
The Foundation has become a strong supporter of the Georgia Tech College of Engineering. Reggie’s friendship with Dr. Gary S. May, formerly the Dean of Georgia Tech, and now Dean of the Engineering School at UC Davis near Sacramento, CA, has helped strengthen the Foundation’s commitment to education directed toward STEM (science, technology engineering and math), an area that has traditionally been very underrepresented by minorities; yet, there are over 300,000 STEM-related jobs each year that go unfilled – and that number is expected to reach 1,000,000 in the next few years. The truth is that Georgia Tech graduates more African American engineers than any other college in the U.S. – and its graduates are sought by many large companies that have only recently started to focus efforts on diversity and inclusion. Those jobs are expected to grow, as are the opportunities for underrepresented students. Dr. May’s presence now on the West Coast offers the Foundation a great opportunity to help our program grow in the West.
It is little wonder that Reggie’s Foundation has evolved to the funding of STEM curricula geared for children of all ages who may not otherwise have exposure to these subjects, given the lack of public school resources.
Current STEM Programming
The Mr. October Foundation (MOF) has partnered with STEM 101 to provide the program to schools throughout the U.S. The STEM 101 program has over 1,000,000 users, and has been vetted by state departments of education, college engineering departments and public/private school districts across the country to meet all state requirements. The Program represents an online, blended-learning, project-based STEM resource which can be implemented as an enhancement for existing curriculum during the school day, as an after school program and as a summer enrichment programming.
Since 2014, MOF has been funding the amazing middle-school curriculum in schools in the Bronx, NY, Oakland, CA, Detroit, MI and St. Louis, MO. We continue to look for support for existing programming as well as to expand to other cities where Reggie’s corporate connections have indicated a desire to participate. In addition to teacher training, data collection and reporting to administration, program evaluation and school community involvement within each participating school, funding also covers all costs of the kits and online resources used by each child, to allow participation in hands-on ‘experiments’ that are fun, engaging, and at the same time, specifically designed to illustrate the concepts that the students have just studied online.
The STEM Academy, Inc. (STEM 101) was founded in 2006 through collaboration with industry and education professionals. Since 2015 the programs have been highly successful thanks to the hard work of teachers, students and stakeholders in the communities. STEM 101 provides 21st century STEM career minded curriculum, physical and electronic resources and professional development to inspire, engage, and prepare students for the STEM jobs of tomorrow. More information can be found at www.stem101.org