I was born in Trinidad and began my life in America at the age of two. Like many families, my parents came to New York seeking the American Dream and a better future for me and my sisters. After our arrival, my family moved around a bit until we finally settled in a part of Brooklyn we could afford.
After briefly attending a neighborhood public school, my parents transferred me to
St. Rita, a Catholic middle school, hoping to get me away from the violence and disarray of my surroundings.
Growing up in a religious household, the strict atmosphere of St. Rita was nothing new. Back home in Trinidad, discipline and religion went hand in hand, and my parents made sure to bring along those principles with them, to raise me with respect, determination and will—which I applied to every aspect of my life and for which I will forever be thankful.
Janiel Richards, 18, is the oldest of four siblings and recently graduated from P-Tech in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where she earned both her high school diploma and her Associate in Applied Science degree in computer information systems from the New York City College of Technology. There are now 60 P-TECH schools and 200 industry partners. A version of this article originally appeared on GradNation.org.
At this week’s Milken Institute Global Conference, I joined an exciting and important discussion about closing the disconnect between education and college and career readiness. Watch and share the video of this discussion to learn how public-private partnerships – not finger pointing or assessing blame – are essential to ensuring that today’s and tomorrow’s high school graduates have the academic and workplace skills
they need to succeed.
A former Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Schools, Stanley S. Litow is
IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility & Corporate Affairs and an architect
of the IBM P-TECH grade 9 to 14 program.
Ghana has long been a launch pad for groundbreaking international collaboration. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy sent the very first group of Peace Corps volunteers to Ghana. Eight years ago, the inaugural IBM Corporate Service Corps team, which brings IBM consultants, services, and talent to the world pro bono, also traveled to Ghana. For both organizations, it seemed logical to launch the first IBM Corporate Service Corps partnership project with the Peace Corps in Ghana.
Together, the preeminent international service organization of the United States and the largest corporate global pro bono program are using their skills and talents in tandem to work together with global communities to tackle their most pressing needs.
Gina Tesla is Director of Corporate Citizenship Initiatives with IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs.
by Rashid Ferrod Davis and Stanley S. Litow
However successful, innovative models in education can become subject to critiques – especially if the model has received national and international acclaim. IBM P-TECH
was launched with ambitious goals in 2011. At stake was the future of an underserved generation of young people, the yawning gap between the needs of industry and our schools’ ability to meet those needs, and America’s viability in an increasingly competitive global economy. P-TECH offered a common-sense, affordable solution to these challenges. And while the model is still evolving and growing, it’s already delivering on that promise.
We designed P-TECH as a grade 9 to 14 program to address America’s disappointingly low college completion rates – rates that are even lower for low-income students of color. The indisputable fact is that the college completion rate for low-income 24-year olds increased from only 6 percent to only 9 percent between 1970 and 2013. When 91 percent of low-income 24-year olds fails to complete college, our education system – and our nation – has a problem of significant proportion.
Major advances in public health have been based on paradigm shifts in our understanding of either how disease spreads or is treated and how to keep populations healthy. Many of these advances have been made possible by collecting and analyzing data. For example, we once thought disease was spread by clouds of “bad air.” Dr. John Snow shattered that theory in 1854 by mapping out cases of cholera in London neighborhoods, taking water samples from nearby wells, and discovering the presence of a new bacterium. From this data-driven method, modern epidemiology was born and became the basis for outbreak tracking. Or consider how our understanding of chronic disease changed comprehensively through the Framingham Heart Study. Prior to World War II, the causes of heart disease were unknown. By continually collecting a variety of patient data, researchers discovered the biological, behavioral, and environmental risk factors for heart disease, which radically altered disease prevention strategies. To date, we’ve seen a 50 percent decrease in heart disease mortality.
Continued innovation in data collection and analytics has enabled us to make significant progress toward eliminating today’s health disparities, but the work is incomplete. New mothers and young children are dying needlessly from lack of access to preventive
health services. People are suffering from infectious diseases that we have treatments
and vaccinations for. And new challenges are emerging with environmental and
Each wave of human innovation has required new skills. From the Industrial Revolution to the post-industrial digital age, economic growth and positive societal transformation have been driven by education and skills. Innovations have enabled entirely new industries, new ways of doing things and even new ways of conceptualizing our world. And as the pace of innovation continues to increase, access to education has never been more important.
Read the rest of this article on The Huffington Post.
On November 23rd, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Gregory Thornton, Johns Hopkins University President Ronald Daniels and IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Vice President Stanley Litow announced Maryland’s commitment to open as many as four IBM P-TECH grade 9 – 14 schools in the City of Baltimore and across the state. These new schools will join the network of innovative IBM P-TECH model schools in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Rhode Island and Australia in connecting high school to college and 21st
Below, the Founding Principal of the inaugural IBM P-TECH school in Brooklyn, New York reflects on his school’s integrated approach to preparing graduates for college, career
IBM P-TECH model schools are engaging diverse groups of young adults across five U.S. states and Australia in rigorous and relevant academic programs that are breaking down barriers to college and middle-class careers. All six students who graduated from Brooklyn P-TECH and education partner the New York City College of Technology with the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree received job offers from IBM. Half joined the company in positions paying more than $50,000 per year. The rest opted to continue their educations at four-year colleges and universities – on full scholarships. But is P-TECH all work and
Educators and parents know that’s a bit of a trick question, as the arts and athletics offer important approaches to learning en route to developing well-rounded individuals who typically perform better in academics and the workplace. In addition, sports – along with strong academic preparation – can be a ticket out of poverty for many who otherwise would be unable to afford a college education. That’s why it’s so exciting that P-TECH’s focus on personal success is producing graduates who excel academically, in the workplace and on the field.
See how the P-TECH 9-14 school model is transforming high school through the eyes of two students, ShuDon and Xzavyen. This video, created for Ted@IBM, demonstrates how this promising model is changing the life trajectories of some of our nation’s most underserved young people – putting them on the path to college and meaningful careers.
With a network of 40 schools and growing, P-TECH is preparing the diverse and skilled talent needed to fill 21st century jobs.
Grace Suh is Senior Manager for Education with IBM Corporate Citizenship &
A 2013 study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce noted the percentage of jobs by the year 2020 that would require postsecondary education or training. For Utah, the researchers estimated that 66 percent of future jobs would require education or training beyond high school. As Governor of Utah and Chair of the National Governors Association, part of my mission is to ensure that young people in my state and across the country are prepared for the jobs of the future. But to make that happen, we must take action today.
I recently unveiled my NGA Chair’s Initiative “States: Finding Solutions, Improving Lives”, and addressed this important initiative before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. States are finding solutions to critical issues, and I highlighted several of them during my remarks. One of the innovative solutions I detailed was IBM’s P-TECH school in Brooklyn, New York. Leading programs like P-TECH will help us build a better future for generations to come.