By DJ McAneny, WDEL | April 20, 2022 read it >
With much of the youth population in Wilmington on spring break, The Warehouse organized a Spirit Week of sorts, with new activities and themes scheduled every day–but with the prizes given out Tuesday, STEM Day set a high bar for the remainder.
It was the brainchild of The Warehouse’s Recruitment and Retention Specialist Brandon Wallace, who wanted the organization to do a little flexing while a majority of teens were off of school and likely to be looking for something fun to do.
“The purpose was really a recruitment event,” Wallace admitted. “I just wanted to show the teens in the area what The Warehouse was all about and just bring them in.” He said selecting the themes for each day was important, but organizing the vendors present was fairly easy. He simply applied the tenets that made up the Five Pillars of REACH–recreation, education, arts, career and health–then sought out organizations who might be available to exposure The Warehouse’s teens to things they might not otherwise have the opportunity to see.
Enter Learning Undefeated and AstraZeneca, who provided significant resources to the nonprofit to generate interest in the day and attract more kids who might otherwise not have attended.
“Delaware is a great place for STEM jobs. There are so many discoveries and inventions that are made right here in Delaware. We’re out here talking to the students about all the great jobs that are here in their state,” said Learning Undefeated Vice President of Communications Janee Pelletier. “Learning Undefeated is a nonprofit organization that’s driving race and gender equity in STEM. A huge part of our mission is letting students from economically marginalized communities know there’s a place for them in STEM, there are great jobs available to them right in their own backyard.”
Learning Undefeated had their Drop Anywhere lab sitting outside in The Warehouse’s basketball court area. Kids entered the shipping container and were invited to take part in an interactive, science-based video game that played out on the walls.
Inside, drones, Tik Tok technologies, firefighting gear, and assorted other tables put on display a variety of local businesses and careers teens could ultimately pursue. There was also a raffle, and three lucky teens walked away with either an Oculus VR, a Lenovo laptop, or Nintendo Switch.
“This= makes me feel very good because, being a teenager in the city of Wilmington, you see a lot of violence. You don’t really get to see the good insight on things that these communities have going on for the teens sometimes,” said the 1st Vice President on The Warehouse Teen Executive Committee Amaris Johnson. “It makes me very happy to see that me and my team can bring a lot of teens together to enjoy the excitement and experience of having opportunities and access to things and resources they don’t usually have.”
It was The Warehouse’s first big event since COVID struck, Wallace said. He added on Thursday, there’s even more great stuff for members of the public unfamiliar with The Warehouse, including a three-on-three basketball tournament for two different age groups–13 to 15 and 16 to 19. Those interested in signing up to play can email Wallace directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Friday, there will be a Passport to Health event he encouraged people to come out for as well.