What Problem Do You Want to Solve?’
The work and mission of the CBIA Education and Workforce Partnership were on full display April 6 at an official launch party held at the Mark Twain House in Hartford.
The event brought together over 100 students, board members, business leaders, and educators to hear stories from those whose lives were changed because of the partnership.
“Twenty years down the road, when this region is thriving, it will be because of this work,” said Bronin.
Following his remarks, program participants stood at the podium, one-by-one, and told their story.
“There’s math in everything we do,” said Caliya Bowen, a seventh-grader from Sarah J. Rawson Elementary School, state’s first Lighthouse School, which works with businesses, community groups, and educators to engage the school’s students in the world of STEAM—science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
“Most importantly, I’m becoming more and more excited about learning.”
Paulo Alcantara, a student from Hartford’s Academy of Engineering and Green Technology said that the robotics team helped him overcome his shyness.
Umar Jalloh, a CTTRANSIT bus operator originally from Sierra Leone, credited the work of the partnership and the Workforce Solutions Collaborative, for giving him a chance.
Noting that it’s much harder to find assistance as an adult, compared to a child, when you are new to this country, Jalloh continued that what gives him hope is the help he received from strangers.
“Thank you CBIA and Deb Presbie (program manager) for helping me find a job,” said Jalloh.
Michelle Debs, a Housatonic Community College graduate, and Tiffany Bayreuther, a graduate of the Connecticut Technical High School System, credited their education for giving them more opportunities in the future.
I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I’ve had without this program.
“What I learned at school got me my job,” said Bayreuther, who credited her experience with the Green STEP program for giving her the energy and efficiency skills to exceed at her Lantern Energy job.
“Students are doing the exact same thing I am–only I now get paid.”
The program ended with the premiere of Nepal 2.0, the story of students from Hartford’s Academy of Engineering and Green Technology who developed a wind and solar powered system that brought electricity to two Nepalese villages for the first time.
Andrea Comer, executive director of the CBIA Education and Workforce Partnership, closed out the night noting that the advantages of project-based learning were showcased with each speaker, and quoting Jaime Casap of Google, she said it’s time that we stop asking kids what they want to be when they grow up.
“Instead, we should ask them--what problem do you want to solve?”
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