Student Spotlight: Taking Leadership with the Velocity Program

Ann Richards NANOTech 2013

Educating and encouraging our youth to become leaders is an important step towards fulfilling our mission of providing educational opportunities that lead to college and career success for our citizens. At Skillpoint Alliance, we provide various programs that help students experience the innovation of STEM related careers and education that are essential to competing in today’s competitive job market.

Our velocity program in particular, provides high school students with over 120 hours of relevant, hands-on work experience and exposure to STEM careers. Students are encouraged to form their own consulting company that works for an actual client on a real world problem. Students in Velocity Prep work full-time for one month in the summer for stipend and are given the freedom to explore their creativity and making ability to make a difference on a real world problem.

Velocity Student, Cece Ruedes participated in the program and found her experience to be a spectacular opportunity to show her leadership skills as the CEO of her own consulting company. “My favorite thing that I’ve learned at Velocity Prep was having an opportunity to lead a group of intelligent students and making the project successful, I didn’t think I would be able to handle the pressure but it was a lot more fun than I thought,” says Cece. The goal of her consulting company was to find a solution to decreasing the use of fossil fuels. Cece and her team of talented innovators, came up with a solution that would involve using solar panels and wind turbines to power up electricity that would used for commercial and residential buildings. In the end, their solution decreased the amount of fossil fuels.

Giving students like Cece the opportunity to become leaders gives them the power to think big and become the innovators that lead the way for change. In the end Cece found her experience to be vital to her education encourages other to experience how fun STEM can be.” I would encourage students to get involved in the engineering field because it is a lot of fun. Most importantly, teamwork and communication is the key to success because without it everybody would be lost and nothing would get done,” says Cece.

Seeking mentors, speakers, and sponsors to continue the success of our Velocity Program to help students like Cece find their voice and continue to pave the road for a successful career