Super Heroes for Education Call AFCEA Home
Donations from AFCEA chapters and individuals and actions from volunteers throughout the association are making a difference in the STEM field every year. Whether the support is a scholarship at a collegiate level or tools for teachers in the K-12 STEM fields, the impact is exponential and continues to grow.
In recognition of the ingenuity and hard work that its chapters devote to education, AFCEA International annually recognizes one of its chapters with the Distinguished Achievement to the Education Community award. This year, Alamo’s efforts came in first place. Six chapters submitted their programs in competition for the award, and these programs document the imagination and energy among chapter members to bring opportunities to students in their areas.
The critical investments and impacts of the Alamo Chapter’s educational program enrich, strengthen and excite the Texas educational community. The impact of the chapter’s efforts was a result of $185,000 this year in donations.
Alamo strengthened investment in four local universities through the $360,000 it has donated over the past four years. Alamo’s four multiyear college scholarship programs are:
$25,000—The University of Texas San Antonio’s (UTSA’s) Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security. This enabled five students to study at leading edges of cybersecurity/mathematics and disciplinary sciences.
$12,500 —Our Lady of the Lake University. For each of two computer information system/security students and one master of information system security student. These students will remain in San Antonio, grow cybersecurity ecosystems and enhance STEM regionally.
$12,500—St. Mary’s University Computer. For each of three IS and security students, selected for academic excellence/financial need. This initiative focuses on growing the cybersecurity community and enhancing STEM within the university.
$12,500—Texas A&M-San Antonio. For each of three computer information system/security students. The selected students represented the nexus of academic excellence and financial need. The chapter designated 2019 as the “Year of Women in STEM.” This initiative contributed more than $85,000 to grow women in STEM careers.
The chapter also continued its support of CyberPatriot by awarding scholarships totaling $12,000 to two of the local CyberPatriot winning teams. The 2019 donation included $6,000 in scholarships to the top female team, enhancing the growth of women in the cybersecurity disciplines.
A $10,000 grant provided to the San Antonio Independent School District developed a district-wide middle school CyberPatriot program and provided computers, laptops, supplies and training aids for the district’s nine middle schools.
The chapter also continued its long-standing commitment to Title I schools. Alamo’s $25,000 donation to three future STEM teachers in UTSA’s “U-Teach” San Antonio Teachers Program is preparing college seniors to become math/science teachers. Recipients then teach in Title I schools, enhancing STEM education at all levels.
San Antonio Boosting Engineering Science, Technology (SA BEST) Robotics received support to develop STEM leaders and enhance the high-technology competitions. A $16,000 Alamo AFCEA scholarship/grant supported the annual robotics competition. The chapter also donated a $10,000 grant to purchase robotic kits for the competition, as well as materials for the construction of challenge objects. Six $500 scholarships were awarded to the winning SA BEST team. Alamo also awarded additional $500 scholarships to members of the Top Female Team.
Ghostwire Academy received $7,500 to cultivate talent/innovation. This organization leverages military volunteers to teach children cybersecurity fundamentals. Ghostwire Academy is investing Alamo’s contribution toward building a grassroots program teaching students cybersecurity fundamentals outside the traditional classroom.
Recognizing the growing need for teachers to leverage technology to augment traditional methods, Alamo provided $31,000 in grants supporting STEM teachers with classroom technology supplies/computer support. Most noteworthy, the grant significantly impacts inner-city students, enhancing STEM capabilities, dramatically improving collegiate opportunity and providing students new/innovative ways to learn.
Alamo’s $10,000 grant to Alamo Colleges/Scobee Education Center seeded Project Artemis—a week-long camp teaching future female astronauts how to plan a moon mission/landing. Twenty young women from economically challenged communities learned about STEM without the burden of price.
The chapter also gave a $5,000 grant to purchase Chromebooks for the “Dronettes.” This fifth-grade all-girl dance team taught themselves coding to control drones choreographed into an integrated routine.
Chapter leaders worked with local military leaders to identify education grant needs for active-duty personnel seeking technical certifications required to perform their duties and gave $1,500 to five individuals under its Military Education Grants program.
The Alamo Education also contributed $11,000 to support AFCEA International’s Education Foundation.
To view all of the nominees for the Distinguished Achievement to the Education Community award, go to url.afcea.org/DistinguishedEd2020.