STEAM Hub Meeting Held in High Desert
By Eliz Dowdy, Staff Writer
When the Millionaire Mind Kids first started in the living room of Delores Williams for her grandkids in 2005, she never envisioned where it would be twelve years later. Williams inherited her two grandchildren when they were two and four years of age. She was working full time in Information Technology, and the issues her grandchildren were dealing with would eventually lead to an early retirement and the search for a re-programming of their minds.
The first program of MMK, Financial Literacy, grew and kids learned the importance of a good FICO score. The next camp added was Aviation, with Col. Tony Marshall, a retired Air Force and commercial pilot. STEM, Law and Justice and Scholarship readiness entered the summer camps offered to low income students, and they entered Robotics, made their robots and entered into competition at Legoland. The demand continued, even after her grandkids left home for college. In 2012, they had opened the Smart Center, on the campus of Goodwill Continuation School (aka First Street School) under the auspices of Victor Valley Union High School District utilizing one building and two portables. They shared the campus with San Bernardino County Desert Mountain Community Day School, and San Bernardino County Youth Foster Program. In August the campus became vacant, and the governing board of Victor Valley Union High School District approved MMK for a full campus lease that will enable them to serve those youth full time that they previously served for one week summer camps. Williams told the attendees at the meeting that in any other field, a 70% rate of students not proficient in English and math skills that prepare them for college is a failure.
The opportunity’s flip side is the associated costs of the transition…that was the reason she called for community leaders, business persons and educators to partner and save those students destined for the school to prison pipeline. Many of the students that have gone through the MMK summer camps are excelling in college and trades that they were never expected to accomplish. The grandkids she started Millionaire Mind Kids for are both excelling. Granddaughter Najah is a senior at Howard University in Washington D.C, on a full ride scholarship. Grandson Khalil attends University of California, San Diego on a full scholarship. Millionaire Mind Kids has served over 4,000 kids from across the high desert, Palmdale included. Chandler Brown attends Harvard on full scholarship, and he was also an Edison Scholar. Williams challenged the community leaders to help secure the future for the children. For those interested in trades, the aviation field offers certification in aviation related trades that will enable the employees to support their families.
First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood shared the impact the summer camps had on his daughters last summer. The focus last summer was Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Robotics, with two sessions, one for ages9-13; and another for ages 14-18. Aviation career and flight; Law and Justice; Scholarship and College Readiness; Financial Literacy and Life Skills.
With the capacity to serve year round, Williams asked the attendees if they wanted to help create a curriculum that would educate the youth. The emphasis is on the whole family now to help parents help their children and provide the in-home stability that will enable them to soar.
To communicate with MMK, call 760-240-4044; or firstname.lastname@example.org