Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Raytheon Create STEM Centers of Innovation for Youth
New Centers in Colorado Springs, San Diego, San Antonio and Eglin AFB to Enhance Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Experience for Military Youth
Waltham, Mass. – Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), in partnership with Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), is establishing four new Centers of Innovation at Boys & Girls Clubs that support military families. Located in California, Colorado, Florida and Texas the clubs are:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego
- Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region
- Eglin AFB Youth Center
- Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio
The centers will provide military youth access to advanced technologies that stimulate creative approaches to STEM exploration, including 3-D printers, robotics, high-definition video production and conferencing equipment. A fully dedicated STEM expert will offer individual and group support, using real-world applications to help youth program participants develop their STEM skills and critical thinking. In the U.S., STEM jobs are expected to grow nearly twice as fast as those in any other field by 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The Centers of Innovation are funded through Raytheon’s $5 million, multi-year commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, part of Raytheon’s recent $10 million pledge to support military families and veterans.
“Military families go where and when they are needed, managing through social and academic transitions with each new post. The Centers of Innovation are designed to ensure that the excitement of STEM creativity and problem solving provides a constant source of inspiration,” said Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon Chairman and CEO. “Ensuring that our military children have easy access to a stimulating learning environment is our collective responsibility.”
The life of a military family is unique. On average, military families move six to nine times before their children graduate high school – about three times more often than civilian families (see infographic). Boys & Girls Clubs of America aim to bring consistency and continuity to their lives; the club atmosphere provides continuity for military children, whether living on or off a military base.
“Boys & Girls Clubs in local communities and in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on military installations offer a safe and engaging place for military kids and teens to help address the unique circumstances that they navigate during formative years,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of BGCA. “With Raytheon's support, we’ll be able to impact more of our military heroes’ kids to help them achieve great futures in areas of science, math or wherever their interests take them.”
To date, six Centers of Innovation locations in the United States and one abroad have been opened:
- Joint Base Andrews Youth Center, Md.
- Ramstein Air Base Youth Programs, Germany
- Boys & Girls Clubs of South County, Chula Vista, Calif., serving the families of Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas, Killeen, Texas, serving the families of Fort Hood
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntsville, Ala., serving the families of Redstone Arsenal
- Harford County Boys & Girls Clubs, Aberdeen, Md., serving the families of the Aberdeen Proving Ground
Raytheon Company, with 2015 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 94 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5I™ products and services, sensing, effects, and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. Visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,200 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. BGCA’s national headquarters is located in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more at Facebook and Twitter.