Ridgeline International, Inc. partnered with 100 Black Men of Greater Washington D.C. in support of increasing opportunities for underserved youths in STEM careers. To this end, Ridgeline started a Go-Fund-Me campaign to raise funds in support of 100 Black Men’s STEM The 100 Way programming and Saturday Leadership Academy. In addition to starting the campaign, Ridgeline matched donations to this campaign, up to $10,000. The campaign closed on July 31st, with over $5,500 in donations. With Ridgeline’s matching funds, over $11,000 has been raised in support of 100 Black Men’s STEM The 100 Way initiative and mentoring activities.
This initiative was developed in response to Ridgeline’s commitment from their June, 2020 Townhall on Diversity and Inclusion. In addition to supporting a well-recognized top quality STEM program, Ridgeline Chief Executive Officer, Erik Wittreich said that with the deficit in qualified STEM talent that he is looking to develop young leaders that will ascend to executive and “C-Suite” positions in the future. Mr. Wittreich stated :
“I value teammates that challenge the status quo—it’s often where our best ideas originate. We seek people who are thoughtful, yet push back and ask hard questions. We don’t want employees to only take direction and rely on a boss to tell them everything they need to do. We don’t think the supervisor has all the answers; I know I certainly don’t. We look for creative, flexible, and inspired collaborators. We aim to be a place where our newest employees have a voice on day one.”
Ridgeline’s partnership with the 100 Black Men of Greater Washington D.C. aims to develop actionable initiatives with the STEM, Mentoring, and Collegiate Programs team to enhance participant exposure in underrepresented career fields.
The 100 Black Men of Greater Washington D.C. was formed in 1995 as a 501(c)(3) organization focused on empowering African-American youth. As a local chapter part of the 100 Black Men of America, it is a devoted to improving the quality of life for African-American youth in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area through programs focused on Mentoring, STEM Education, Economic Empowerment, Health & Wellness, and Leadership Development. The organization primarily focuses on middle school aged youth through college undergraduates
STEM the 100 Way Program is currently implementing STEM activities in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. The program consists of the following STEM topics: Biomedical Engineering, Forensic Science, Cyber Security, Coding, Urban Farming, Radio Controlled Cars and Drones. Students utilize an engineering design process to solve real world problems in all STEM activities. Additionally, the program develops leadership skills and critical thinking of its participants further developing the next generation of professionals. Lastly, the program facilitates lectures and mentoring relationships with STEM industry representatives to aid in career pathway development.
In addition to this donation campaign, Ridgeline also intends to develop activities to support the following initiatives:
- Internship opportunities for qualified students
- Mentorship opportunities in technical specialties
- Participation in Ridgeline STEM week
Ridgeline’s Chief Administrative Officer, Eric Bell serves as our liaison representative with the 100 Black Men of Greater Washington, / D.C. and he will help facilitate our initiatives. In concert with Ridgeline International Community Outreach (RICO), Mr. Bell will also assists with Ridgeline’s outreach efforts as part of their investment in African-American youths within The DC, Maryland, Virginia local area.
To learn more about 100 Black Men of Greater Washington, D.C. please visit: www.100BlackMenDC.org
To learn more about Ridgeline International, Inc., please visit: https://www.ridgelineintl.com