Most of us spend our Tuesday afternoons hurrying to meetings, working on various tasks, and watching the clock slowly tick forward to 5 o’clock. However, Shawn Plew of MOBI has been spending his Tuesdays a little differently. For the past five months, Shawn has contributed countless hours to leading a new CoderDojo coding club as a US2020 volunteer at Central Elementary School.
When asked about his motivation to volunteer, Shawn didn’t need much time to come up with a response. “Growing up in 1980's rural Indiana, I was given the opportunity to have state-of-the-art technology in my home because of a philanthropic partnership between my school and IBM,” he shared with us. “It was this early introduction to computing that gave me a love for programming. I believe that TechPoint Foundation for Youth's efforts to introduce STEM-related fields to Indiana's underserved students will ignite this same fire in children across our state.”
Shawn has worked alongside his colleagues Jolene Kernick, Eric Sendelbach, and Adam Fernung to plan activities, lead program sessions, and serve as a mentor for several fifth grade students at Central.
“Having the privilege to introduce computer programming to young people, knowing the future opportunities and self-confidence this will give them, makes me proud to call myself a volunteer with Techpoint Foundation For Youth," he said.
Central Elementary is one of several schools in the area that has received support from US2020 volunteers to implement STEM afterschool programming and the importance of these programs cannot be overstated. DaJuan Major, Vice Principal of Central Elementary is a staunch supporter of these programs in his school. “STEM Programs are essential for the development of children for many reasons,” he says. “They reinforce what students are learning in the classrooms, enhance positive communication between students, and allow for all students regardless of background to be provided with a leveled platform to exhibit their individual knowledge and expertise.”
Shawn and volunteers like him are the reason TechPoint Foundation for Youth’s programs succeed. Thank you for your service, Shawn!