Red Kite

STEM Premier Spotlight: Nickie Daves

We’ve recently been spotlighting some of the incredible K-12 educators we have had the privilege of working with. These are energetic, forward-thinking, and fun individuals who have implemented the STEM Premier platform in their schools, districts, and counties.

Nickie Daves is a health science teacher who encourages her students to utilize STEM Premier to help gain access to scholarships and internship opportunities. Let’s check out what she has to say!

                            Nickie Daves, RN, CCRN                         Floyd. D. Johnson Technology Center                                   York School District                                   York, South Carolina

                            Nickie Daves, RN, CCRN

                     Floyd. D. Johnson Technology Center

                               York School District

                               York, South Carolina

How did you get into education? What drew you to the profession?
I am actually a registered nurse, by trade. For Health Science, a healthcare professional is requested to teach the course. Being a nurse involves educating patients on a daily basis. I found that I really enjoyed that portion and knew that I would one day transition into education. I love seeing the light bulb going off and being able to help the learner take charge of the information that they learn. I never thought I would teach students in the secondary field, but I love it very much.

What is your favorite thing about education?
I enjoy working with the next generation of healthcare professionals. I love building the relationships with the students which will continue on in future courses.  

Tell us about your school!
I work for York School District One in the Floyd D. Johnson Technology Center. Our technology center and high school are together within the same building, which decreases many barriers that would exist if the two sections were not comprehensive. A student can leave their English class and then go straight to a building & construction class.

How is STEM Premier helping/will help your school or district?
It’s a wonderful asset offered to the students in the way of scholarship opportunities, internships, and showcasing their accomplishments. All sophomores and juniors are exposed to STEM Premier and create an account. They are encouraged to keep their accounts up-to-date and utilize them to highlight themselves for post-secondary opportunities.

Any neat stories so far?
Students are always so excited to let the staff know that certain schools have viewed their account or that they have been offered internships!

How did you implement STEM Premier? Are there any suggestions you would have for  other schools on how to best implement STEM Premier?
I teach courses within the Health Science cluster, which are classified as elective courses. Despite this, I always encourage my students to complete community service projects, continue to build their resumes, and to search constantly for scholarships. Our community has a poverty rate of over 70%, so it is imperative that students have the ability to attend schools once they are accepted. I give numerous assignments for the students to submit proof of scholarships completions to me. Most of the students go through STEM Premier to do so.

What is your favorite part of the system?
The ability to export all of my profile data into a ready-to-use resume.

What is the future impact that STEM Premier will have on your school or district?
I believe its social media-like functionality will keep it relevant with the current generation who will soon be entering the workforce. During my advisory meetings - which include healthcare members within my community - I have recommended that their companies utilize STEM Premier to help reduce the impact of the impending nursing shortage.

STEM Premier Spotlight: Tashiba Pearson

Last, month, we began a series of blog posts in order to recognize some of the incredible K-12 educators we have had the privilege of working with. These are energetic, forward-thinking, and fun individuals who have implemented the STEM Premier platform in their schools, districts, and counties.

In June, we heard from Dr. Sean Alford, Superintendent of the Aiken County Public School District, who gave us his take on STEM Premier from an administrator’s point-of-view. This month, we want to shine the spotlight on someone who works directly with students to help them develop their professional plans and goals.

Tashiba Pearson is a passionate and dedicated educator, and a big fan of STEM Premier. Let’s see what she has to say about implementing STEM Premier in her school.

                                    Tashiba Pearson                           Career Development Facilitator                         York Comprehensive High School                                     York, South Carolina

                                    Tashiba Pearson

                       Career Development Facilitator

                     York Comprehensive High School

                                York, South Carolina

Tell us about your role with the school or district that you are involved with.
As the Career Development Facilitator (CDF), it is my role to prepare students for the workforce. I do this through career assessments, resume and cover letter writing, exposing students to non-traditional careers, and implementing career events and programming.

How did you get into education? What drew you to the profession?
I decided to get into education because I wanted to help students prepare for their future. My current role as a CDF allows me to work directly with students on job coaching and preparing them for the workforce.

What is your favorite thing about education?
My favorite thing about education is that it gives me an opportunity to partner with students and help them achieve their goals. I recognize that I don’t necessarily know what is best for any individual student. Success is when a student allows me to work as a team with them to reach their goals.

Tell us about your school!
York Comprehensive High School (YCHS) is an amazing school located in York, SC, which is a picturesque upcountry town in one of the largest historic districts in the United States. Located near both Charlotte NC and Rock Hill SC, the benefits of small town life mingle with the opportunities that larger cities provide. We have over 1600 students at our school. Students at YCHS are fortunate in that our technology center, Floyd D. Johnson, is housed in the same building.  Students at YCHS are able to take Advanced Placement, Honors Courses and Dual Credit courses.

How is STEM Premier helping/will help your school or district?
STEM Premier came to YCHS in March 2017 to roll out their platform in our school. Since that time, I have been contacted by businesses who are using STEM Premier to recruit students for positions with immediate openings. STEM Premier has given students a platform that allows them to connect with local employers and colleges.

Any neat stories so far?                                                                                                  I had a student come to my office and show me his STEM Premier app on his phone. He was very excited to show me that his profile had been viewed by a local company. The next day this student informed me that his profile was now being followed by this company. The student is a senior who will be graduating in May and his next step is to enter the workforce. STEM Premier allowed this student to directly connect with a potential employer and now he is one step closer to securing a career before graduating high school.

How did you implement STEM Premier? Are there any suggestions you would have for  other schools on how to best implement STEM Premier?
At YCHS we implemented STEM over a two-day period. We pre-assigned students to computer labs and facilitated rotating students in and out of the lab. STEM Premier staff led the roll-out and helped students to create profiles. We printed transcripts and gave them to students so they would have accurate information to enter into their profile.

My suggestion to other schools would be to “organize, organize, organize.” Rollout went smoothly at YCHS because we pre-assigned students to labs, we planned for how long students would be in the lab. We made a spreadsheet outlining which lab students were assigned to. We also had administration standing in the halls helping to direct students to computer labs.

What is your favorite part of the system?
My favorite part of the system is the Red Kite area. I love how accessible it makes scholarships. I often hear students say “I didn’t apply because I didn’t know about that scholarship” or “I wasn’t sure if I qualified”. This area eliminates those problems because it pre-populates scholarships that the student is qualified for.

What has your experience been with the STEM Premier team?
The STEM Premier staff who came to YCHS and helped with the rollout of STEM Premier were absolutely AMAZING. They were fun and energetic and the students responded well to them. It was evident that they were not trying to “sell” us on a product or system. They were passionate about STEM Premier and the ways it could benefit YCHS students. Prior to implementiation, they were all very helpful and were always available to answer any questions we had. I have seen their staff in the community at different events and they are like family now. I can always call on anyone on their team and get an immediate response.

What is the future impact that STEM Premier will have on your school or district?
STEM Premier will help YCHS students display their talents and academic success on a platform that will lead to job offers and connections with colleges and schools. STEM Premier will help students graduate with job offers in hand.

A Professional HUD: STEM Premier's Student Dashboard

If you’re an aircraft pilot, you are familiar with an HUD.

For everyone else, the acronym may be unfamiliar, but the concept shouldn’t be. An HUD, or Heads-Up Display, is an apparatus which presents important data to the user of a certain technology - a fighter jet, for example - without requiring them to take their eyes off of what’s in front of them.

When you’re flying at 800 miles per hour, you can imagine why that would be useful!

STEM Premier's Student Dashboard works in the same way.

Both at the secondary and collegiate level, students have a lot going on in their lives. They have tests to study for, homework to do, and projects to complete. And that just describes their academic lives! They also want to make time for friends, family, sports, hobbies, and other activities.

Simply put, students don’t have a lot of time to think about their academic and professional futures. Perhaps that’s why big state schools with strong brand-awareness never fail to attract their fair share of applicants. It could also explain why certain high-prestige professions, such as law and healthcare, dominate student interest surveys (on the 2015 CIRP Freshman Survey, an astounding 27.4% of incoming college freshman identified themselves as either pre-law or pre-med).

STEM Premier’s Student Dashboard is tailor-designed for each student on the STEM Premier platform. Using data from the user’s personal profile, the dashboard compiles and aggregates vital information for each student as they navigate their hectic lives at 800 mph - just like an HUD system!

When a student logs onto STEM Premier, their Dashboard is the first thing they see. Here’s what they’ll find:

They’ll find how their standardized test scores - such as their ACT score -  stack up against other users, which may prompt them to try for a higher score and broaden their opportunities.

They’ll find the “Explore Organizations” module, which will connect them with schools and businesses who match up well with their educational and career interests.

They’ll find financial aid opportunities powered by Redkite, which matches students to certain scholarship opportunities based on their STEM Premier profile information.  

In other words, STEM Premier students will have information placed at their fingertips which used to have taken hours of research to compile. That’s the whole point of an HUD. At STEM Premier, we don’t want students to have to take their eyes off the windshield to figure out where they’re going.

We want to help them know exactly where they’re headed. While still going full-throttle.

 

NexTier Bank Sponsors STEM Premier Program in Pennsylvania's Armstrong School District

Earlier this week, we were excited to welcome a new STEM Premier partnership. NexTier Bank will sponsor the STEM Premier platform for Pennsylvania’s Armstrong School District. This sponsorship will bring our platform directly to the District’s 5,000+ students allowing them to create profiles and showcase their grades, skills, and achievements.

NexTier Bank, with corporate offices in Kittanning, PA, provides banking, insurance, and wealth management services for western Pennsylvania.

"This partnership will allow us to effectively connect talent to college and business in a way we can measure and show great success", said Maria Smathers, Chief Marketing Officer at NexTier Bank. "Together, we are striving to connect students to careers in STEM-related fields and provide a better network for companies to find talent. In working together, we will be able to directly impact and strengthen our overall economic health."

NexTier’s sponsorship also provides for a $500 scholarship for a top STEM student in the school district. This scholarship helps promote our mission of helping students of all ages, backgrounds, and socioeconomic status promote themselves and achieve professional success in an increasingly competitive job market. In 2012, over 40% of Armstrong School District’s students were eligible for free or reduced lunch and nearly 20% of families lived below the poverty line according to the New America Foundation

While the district’s students will be able to utilize the benefits of our platform, district administrators are also excited about the new Red Kite scholarship application which is embedded into the student dashboard. Red Kite assists students in finding scholarship opportunities which match their skills and interest areas.

We are looking forward to working with both NexTier and the Armstrong School District to help these students unlock their full potential. 

Shortcuts to Scholarships: STEM Premier Teams Up with Red Kite

What if we could give students twenty billion dollars to go to college? That would be pretty cool, right?

Well, we can’t exactly give them twenty billion dollars, but we can do the next best thing, which is to directly connect them with $20 billion worth of scholarships.

STEM Premier and Red Kite have teamed up to help our students find and apply for scholarships that are tailor-fit for them based their interests, grades, and other STEM Premier profile information.

There are thousands of scholarships, grants, and fellowships out there for students to apply to. That’s great! However, it can be difficult and tedious for students to find the financial aid opportunities that are right for them, especially when the college search itself can seem like a full-time job.

Red Kite has taken the hard work out of the scholarship application process by automatically matching students on their platform with scholarship opportunities that are unique to each student based on their profile information. The result is that students can much more easily find and apply for scholarships that make sense for them. Students can track their applications and see which ones they have been awarded. They can then use that information to see how close they are to affording the cost of attendance for their preferred schools by using Red Kite’s college cost comparisons.

Red Kite also provides information about loans and other useful tips regarding financial aid, courtesy of their blog and downloadable guides - such as “Financial Aid 101.”

By integrating Red Kite’s financial aid matching engine with our platform, STEM Premier students will be provided with a new feature on their personal dashboard: recommended scholarships based on their unique profile information. The more complete a student’s profile, the more refined their scholarship list will be.

The student’s search for their perfect college can already be stressful enough, even without worrying about how to pay for it. With Red Kite, we are happy to give students the tools they need to make this process a lot easier!