I founded BEACON House, Inc. in 2017 to extend the work that I have been doing in my classroom, schools, districts, and internationally for the last 15 years. I believe that our future job market will need highly qualified STEAM experts to meet the needs of our society in the 21st century and beyond. I also feel that minorities, low-income households, and individuals that are exceptional get left behind in our public schools. They often fail to get the needed skills and knowledge to become employed in these STEAM fields. BEACON House uses Arts, Sports, and Current Topics to engage learners in integrated activities that help them expand their creativity, innovation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills while having fun.
In my 15 year career in education I have worked in various settings having great success in engaging students in STEAM education. These settings range from private juvenile corrections, suburban public schools, urban public schools, and international schools in three different countries. All of these experiences have allowed me to become the dynamic and adaptive educator and leader that I am today.
There are two quotes that define why I chose to open BEACON House, Inc. The first is by Gandhi, "You must be the change you want to see in the world." The second is from JFK, "Too whom much is given, Much is required." These two quotes along with my personal and professional education experience and my specific coursework in educational leadership have sparked the vision and mission of BEACON House, Inc.
BEACON stands for Building Equity in Access & Achievement through Community Outreach Networks.A beacon serves as a warning, signal, or guide to people. Equity is a word that is heard often and used frequently these days. However it is an idea that is seldom obtained. Unless there are people who make this their goal through strategic planning and implementation of programming. On January 13th I lit the signal fire to serve as a warning that equity in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, & Mathematics) Education is needed in the 4 State area. The signal fire was passed onto the people that joined the mission of BEACON House, Inc. as Board of Directors, Advisory & Review Board members, and general members. Several who are able to be here today. Our BEACON fire serves as a warning, signaling that there is work to be done in achieving equity for all in STEAM Education. BEACON House, Inc. strives to increase the number of students in STEAM Education programming and careers from low-income households, minority backgrounds, and those we call exceptional learners or those who do not fit the standard norm. Learners like Diamante, a smart African American teen who saw no purpose in taking biology. He had taken it previously and failed the course a couple times. His interest in doing the course again was low when he came to my room. Until I gave a project where students had to create a song for protein synthesis. He came alive and asked if he could do a rap or hip-hop song. I said I was fine with it and he went and turned Soulja Boy song into a song about protein synthesis. The blending of science and art helped him gain interest in the course. He passed biology that time and I like to think it was because of this one project. We have read the research, looked at the data, and worked or still work in education and other agencies where we see this inequity daily. We came together to help plan programs and activities that will bring about equity through the use of research, data analysis, and strategic planning.BEACON House also serves to guide in the 4 STATE community through our mission and programming. We here at BEACON House understand that it takes a village to raise a child and change a community. One organization or institution cannot by itself hope to solve all of the problems and issues in the 4 State. But together, we can move mountains and change the story for the present and future of the 4 STATE. This is the heart of BEACON House, Inc. Building community partnerships to achieve equity in the 4 State and blazing trails in curriculum and professional development opportunities to increase cognitive development and STEAM literacy. Some of our flagship programs are Common Ground Community Art which focuses on using the arts as a medium to celebrate diversity in the 4 STATE Area and promote acceptance and understanding of diversity. Then finding our common ground as humans and creating a better understanding for all people. STEAM Works which is our programming for kids ages 4-19. This programming seeks to provide low-cost STEAM activities monthly that will increase their awareness, understanding, literacy, and achievement in STEAM Education. One of those programs is our Free Family Fun Fridays that started June 9th. Another is BIOS4 Global Service Learning Project which is focused on sustainable agriculture in Senegal and Colombia. All centered on our 3 pillars of Scholarship, Service, and Stewardship