Creating Opportunity for the Future of Our Neighbors Through Education
Community Partnerships Enrich Student Learning
| Kate Bauer, Community Engagement Manager
The students of today are embarking on educational journeys that will prepare them for their future. For many, there’s opportunity in following a career path involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, more than 2.6 million STEM job openings need filled by the year 2024. It’s an industry that’s growing at double the rate of non-STEM jobs. Yet, there’s a shortage of STEM workers in the U.S., especially among women and minority groups.
As a growing, diverse tech company, CoverMyMeds wants to help change those statistics for students in our community. Guided by core values which inspire us to “Be Selfless” and “Do The Right Thing,” CoverMyMeds is continuing a tradition of investing in our communities and schools to make sure the innovators of tomorrow have the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.
While that might look and feel different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our commitment and the impact we’ll make on the lives of our young neighbors and their families remains unchanged. That’s why we’re teaming up with the PAST Foundation to expand the delivery of STEM programming to Columbus City Schools students in the Franklinton and Hilltop neighborhoods.
The PAST Foundation offers a variety of programs that challenge and engage students to link learning to life in a fun and unique way. In collaboration with professional and community partners, including Columbus City Schools and CoverMyMeds, the PAST Foundation’s programs introduce students to skills that help make the transition from classroom to career seamless.
Our people are also contributing. Roughly 30 CoverMyMeds employees committed their time and expertise to serve as mentors and support students with critical thinking and STEM skills, as well as foster curiosity about the world. These mentors are now completing training and will begin working alongside teachers this fall to support students participating in virtual STEM programming — such as “Introduction to Coding,” “Computer-Aided Design,” and “Art & STEM.”
“We know that today’s students are digital natives, technologically literate, eager, creative and — with the correct support — fearless. Just look at how our students have been able to adapt and navigate online learning and instruction in the midst of a pandemic,” said Kat Deaner, director of school design at the PAST Foundation. “For 20 years, the PAST Foundation has created meaningful learning opportunities for students that help prepare them for life beyond school. CoverMyMeds is an excellent example of industry partnering with K-12 schools to provide expertise that promotes authentic learning for students and educators.”
CoverMyMeds’ collaboration with the PAST Foundation also serves as a conduit through which we can leverage strong relationships we’ve built with a variety of other community organizations to help deliver a comprehensive program that provides students with the resources and support they need for an equal shot at a successful future.
Volunteers from CoverMyMeds are committed to sharing insight about their work in the technology industry with students through the PAST Foundation in a series of technical career talks. CoverMyMeds employees also participate in discussions about success in the workplace through the Dress for Success Boss Girl Program, which helps young women prepare for their next steps in life – whether that be the workplace, college or a trade school. Because of the pandemic, these discussions are virtual for now.
“Many young girls, especially girls of color, are often overlooked and many times misunderstood. I want to be a part of creating space for them to be seen, acknowledged and listened to without judgement,” said Schlaine Hutchins, director of information security, who recently participated in a virtual Boss Girl session. “It is powerful to witness the positive impact mentorship can have on children in our communities. Connecting with young people, even virtually, to share stories and answer questions energizes and inspires all who participate.”
With access to workforce readiness programming, students can participate in a variety of training to prepare for their first job. Powered by collaborations with the Columbus Metropolitan Library and Jewish Family Services, students entering the workforce can gain the skills needed to launch their career — from crafting a resume to navigating the interview process. CoverMyMeds employees offer a variety of support including resume reviews, job search tips and mock interviews.
Through our collaboration with the PAST Foundation, Columbus City Schools teachers have access to professional development opportunities on innovative topics related to STEM. The goal is to connect theory to practice so students continue to benefit. During the summer, educators participated in sessions including how to teach in a virtual environment due to the pandemic.
CoverMyMeds is excited to work with the PAST Foundation and our other community partners to offer comprehensive learning opportunities that help students reach their full potential. This program is one of many examples that show how growth in Franklinton can create opportunity and we look forward to continuing to invest in a brighter future for all. Once we move into our Franklinton campus in the spring of 2021, we plan to offer our neighbors even more opportunities — whether that’s hosting technical career fairs, philanthropic and community events or providing a safe place for students to meet with their mentors and/or receive homework help.
Learn more about our Franklinton campus project and community investment here.