Phoenix Arising Aviation Academy will hold its annual gala on Nov. 3. The Austin-based nonprofit helps students excel in science and math, and was founded on the belief that “every individual student is designed and created for greatness,” says CEO and executive director Zaitarrio Collier.
Collier founded Phoenix Arising in 2008 with his wife Tasha, who is COO and director of operations. They teach kids, in part, through hands on aviation and technology experiences.
Part of their mission is to “to directly intervene in the STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] pipeline, and really cultivate inclusion and engagement in STEM with young people,” said the CEO. They put special emphasis is on reaching economically disadvantaged youth.
In 2017, Phoenix Arising will put 20 African American and Latino 11th an 12th graders through an accelerated program that will prepare them for a job in the technology industry.
Through after school programs at Title I facilities (schools covered by the part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 intended to close the achievement gap between students with low-income and others), the organization currently serves 300 students during the academic year. An additional 200 students attend their summer camps. The founders hope to hold sessions at the campuses of some of Austin’s high-tech companies in the future.
In 2017, Phoenix Arising will put 20 African American and Latino 11th an 12th graders through an accelerated program that will prepare them for a job in the technology industry. This is a pilot program with the The New Teachers Project, intended to increase diversity in the STEM fields. After training, the students will be apprenticed to a technical company.
The Nov. 3 gala is a fundraiser and celebration of all that’s been achieved by academy students. This year’s keynote speaker is Jim Anderson, vice president and general manager of Hewlett Packard’s Global Cloud Service Provider business.
For more information about Phoenix Arising programs, or to buy tickets to the gala, visit their website.