Funding from the federal government is an important resource for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), but it also takes the support of private and public partnerships to sustain talent. Here’s how one Modern-Day Technology Leader, honored at the 2004 BEYA STEM Conference, is still making a difference.

Since he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Tennessee native Charles Bass has worked with his fraternity to inspire, motivate and retain young people in STEM. Four years ago, Bass was part of the team that created the Mobile STEM Initiative for Memphis Youths, which is supported by the Siemens Digital Industries Software business unit and the Siemens Foundation. The program now serves about 125 elementary school students.

All told, the Siemens Foundation has invested more than $115 million in the United States to advance workforce development and education initiatives in STEM. According to the foundation, their programs are closing the opportunity gap for young people and sustaining today’s STEM workforce and tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.

“For my fraternity brothers and me, the goal of our STEM program was the development of competence, confidence, connection, and character in the children in the program,” said Bass, who is currently based in Nashville, TN, as a client sales executive, for Siemens’ Digital Industries Software. “The program gives us a chance to show that science and technology are ‘cool’ subjects that can lead to exciting career opportunities,” he said. 

A STEM program at Two Rivers Middle Prep School in Nashville is one of the latest initiatives that Bass and the Brentwood Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc are involved in.

“Siemens Smart Infrastructure employees in Nashville donated about 160 boxes of cereal this past spring. We also went out into the local community and got other for-profit and non-profit entities to join the effort, Bass said.” And, of course, my fraternity brothers were a part of it. That’s how we got the pantry up to 700 boxes of cereal, oatmeal and breakfast pastries. The program has identified other schools in Metro Nashville that could benefit from a similar food drive.”

Last week, David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation posted this on LinkedIn:

“This morning Siemens employee Charles Bass announced employees and local partners are committed to inspiring 10,000 students in 25 Metro Nashville Public Schools with #SiemensSTEMDay curriculum this school year. Thanks to everyone who is committed to sharing all of the possibilities a career in #STEM can offer.”

Building the future workforce starts with adults who love what they do; sharing their passion for technology and innovation with students from many backgrounds, Bass said earlier this year.

“Those adults can give young people a skill set that will serve them for the rest of their lives, no matter where they go or what they choose to do,” he said. “That’s why we’re approaching the evolution of STEM holistically, starting with our future scientists in their own communities.”

Meet Modern-day Technology Leaders like Charles Bass at the BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference, February 13-15, 2020, in Washington DC.

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