Dear Robotics for All Community,
As an organization whose mission is to create equal educational opportunities for everyone, we are deeply disturbed by recent events such as the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. While racial oppression has long existed in this world, these events have shed light on the underlying differences in the ways people are treated, just based on the color of their skin. This is in an issue that is not mutually exclusive to police oppression. To just state a few examples, across the country and all over the world, one’s race can determine how one is treated by others, how easy it is able to climb the social ladder, and how much access one has to quality education.
No organization can single handedly solve all the issues related to racial oppression, but at Robotics for All, we are committed to ensuring that everyone has access to quality STEM education, regardless of their racial background, the zip code they are born into, the income of their parents or the gender they identify with. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the future is online. Without access to quality STEM classes, socioeconomically disadvantaged students cannot compete with their more affluent and privileged peers. The pandemic has only worsened with the opportunity gap, as many students from low income communities lack sufficient resources to adequately distance learn.
That is why we have decided to stop waiting for the pandemic to end and transition our learning platform to an entirely online platform. To help with this massive undertaking, this past month we interviewed over two dozen applicants for our summer volunteer position. Along with two mentors with over 30 years of experience in their respective fields of teaching and software development, we selected nine volunteers representing two countries and seven states. Combined with our existing board and internal volunteers, we now have over twenty volunteers working on initiatives like developing curriculum, creating web platforms, improving our internal procedures, coordinating our online classes, and improving our in-person classes for when they are able to resume.
We expect to begin online classes in July, which will be open to everyone with an optional donation for those who can afford to donate. When school resumes in August, we will roll out our online classes to students all over this nation. The benefit of online classes is that we are not limited by location; we can have volunteers from anywhere in the world teaching students anywhere in the world. This enables us to serve communities we have never been able to serve before, including rural communities whose students are often left behind.
The passion and energy that our volunteers and mentors have for our mission was clearly demonstrated in the many video call meetings we have had this week. We are truly lucky to have such a dedicated team of volunteers and are grateful for all of their time.
Together, we are taking steps to permanently close this gap and ensure that no matter where a student comes from, they can have access to quality STEM instruction. Whether you are a mentor, donor, or volunteer, we remain grateful for your unwavering support of our mission and our day-to-day operations, particularly through these difficult times.
Max and Garrett
Founder and CEO
Vice President and COO