After working for many years in an informal science education classroom, our CEO noticed many programs lacked African American participation. She took action by designing a program, and attaining funding exclusively to inspire minority girls towards the sciences entitled: Girls Exploring Engineering (GEE). Sponsored by Girls RISEnet (Raising Interest in Science and Engineering Museum Network), she partnered with local youth organizations and facilitated a one-time engineering program that hosted 100 low-income middle and high school girls.
Pre-program surveys and discussions revealed 80% of the girls were exposed to very few hands-on STEM experiences in school and found science “boring”, “too hard”, and/or “for boys”. Post-evaluations revealed that with the help of female professional and peer STEM mentors, the girls’ perception of women in science had changed and they’d acquired a new, empowered outlook on STEM topics. 90% of the girls were able to use their creativity and resourcefulness to build complicated circuitry projects, with little to no assistance. A year later a follow-up survey revealed a high school participant was accepted at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) to pursue a degree in engineering. The student explained the GEE workshop increased her confidence in her abilities and directly influenced this decision.
As a result of this vision, the project’s success soared well beyond the pilot stage and the Dennis Project was born. It has been developed into a multiple level outreach program, and has served more than 1,500 students.
Our education programs:
The Dennis Project, Inc. was founded in 2012 in celebration of the Dennis Family. As Miami-Dade County Public School teachers, community leaders and positive role models the Dennis family women have influenced others to uplift their community by becoming a positive change. Although faced with many adversities these phenomenal women have held true to their faith, family tradition, love of education and willingness to help others. Their roots are established in the inner city community, where they have made an incredible impact.
Fatherhood Program Director
Dade County Inner-City Public Schools