Recognizing the importance of our vision of transforming Miami into the tech hub of the east coast, and how sparking the interest of the next generation at a young age will play a vital role in creating a qualified STEM workforce, The U has officially partnered with us here Manifezt to help make that happen. Free to all participants, our hands-on workshops turn science into a fun weekend activity for kids and parents by allowing them to witness firsthand some of the wonders of STEM. Being an integral part of the community, the University of Miami has 4 different campuses here in Greater Miami, over 16,000 students, and has a positive estimated economic impact of more than $6B annually on the state of Florida – so the partnership will undoubtedly make a huge difference as we combine forces.
We are proud to announce we will be working directly with the Toppel Career Center and the University of Miami’s Department of Computer Science, to recruit some of the most talented STEM students to work with the youth at our different locations throughout South Florida. Our efforts will combine to focus on underprivileged and middle-class communities to ensure they receive the same opportunities at a quality STEM education that wealthier families are able to provide to their children. Additionally, through getting young adults involved in our program as volunteers we are able to encourage civic engagement at a time when their minds are forming opinions and habits that can stick with them throughout the rest of their life.
To show additional support, The Toppel Career Center was also kind enough to allow us to recruit interns from their institution for organizational functions within Manifezt. As we are still a growing nonprofit, the interns have the benefit of catching us at a time when they can make a significant impact in the organization, and we intend to create long term opportunities for those that overperform, while equipping all of them with transferrable skills that will help in their career whether they choose to remain in the nonprofit world for the long run, or not. In addition to working with students preparing for various STEM careers, we will be recruiting Canes from the School of Communication and the School of Business for various temporary roles.
At Manifezt, we are in a rare position to implement change because of the talented, diverse minds we have in the organization that are able to capitalize on our strategic partnerships with the government, the private sector, and educational system. Through the help of our Nonprofit Development Department, our well connected advisory board, containing representation from Magic Leap, Cox Media Group, Microsoft, and The Miami-Dade Beacon Council (to name a few), and through agreements we have made with local staffing agencies, we intend to create a private job board that will only be available to our volunteers. On this job board, we will invite all of our partners and affiliates to post STEM internship and entry level opportunities that will provide applicants from the top local universities that already recognize the importance of giving back.
In addition to our new partnership with UM, we have an existing relationship with FIU that provides us volunteers for our workshops. In order to reach our target audience (the young STEM innovators of tomorrow), we work with college students, the government, the private sector and educational sector to coordinate resources in the most efficient manner. We aim to reduce duplicated efforts in community development departments at the previously mentioned institutions, through improved communication between them, because of the close-knit network we are creating. Here at Manifezt, we encourage the children that go on to a local University to stay engaged with the organization as a volunteer, thus giving them access to our job board. At Manifezt, we are building a pipeline that encourages underprivileged and middle-class youth here in South Florida to participate in STEM, attend a local institution, and then helps place them in fulfilling careers at successful companies that recognize the importance of giving back to the community that provides them a market to sell their products, and staff to operate their business.