YES THRIVE was launched in 2016 to address the significant disparity of urban males participating in the Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) workforce and as successful entrepreneurs. Torian Stencer and Keon Morning witnessed this issue daily in their careers and wanted to change it. They expanded their vision by developing the organization’s Pathway to Success Program. A opportunity to help under served and underrepresented males, like themselves growing up, to be exposed to a quality program that develops you as a leader in STEM, and in your community.
“Under 10% of urban males” possess careers related to STEM, and the program’s goal is to alter this statistic by providing educational opportunities to help close these gaps. The program consists of three main categories to focus on an overall positive lifestyle, which includes STEM, Health & Wellness, and Professional Development.
Additionally, the program is curriculum based and offers access and exposure to the following: Professional Volunteers who hold careers in STEM - STEM Problem Solving & Application Skills - Tactile Learning - STEM Career Investigation - Financial Literacy - STEM Company Tours - Portfolio Building - Presentation Skills - Community Service - Collegiate STEM Pathway Investigation - Team Building Skills – Scholarships - Good Health and Wellness Awareness - STEM Job Shadowing - STEM Internships - Professional Skills – and an Incentive Based Program.
The Pathway to Success Program requires a 4 year commitment for urban males entering 9thgrade, and targets underrepresented and under served males in the Dallas, Texas area. Providing exposure to careers in STEM, extensions in learning STEM, and emphasizing the importance of becoming a healthy professional is essential. More time and resources are needed to develop the untapped potential in the youth urban male, propelling them to become innovators and leaders in STEM.
Growing up as an urban male and becoming an educational administrator in the same Dallas, Texas "Oak Cliff"community, Torian Stencer saw the need for the Pathway to Success program in developing more urban male leaders in the area. Teaming up with his fraternity brother Keon Morning, Global Technology Innovator, who is also an urban male from Memphis, Tennessee, the vision to focus on STEM became clear in the beginning phase of their journey to transform communities. Both Torian and Keon are young urban Dallas professionals with credentials and experience as leaders in the fields of education and technology. They both believe in, and value empowering urban males to positively influence the community.
Torian and Keon are driven to help those “who were like them growing up, smart yet underexposed”. To achieve goals of community empowerment they work together as leaders. To ensure the success of the organization and 4 year Pathway to Success program, volunteers are also encouraged to be leaders in their roles. One of the most important aspects of the program involves the recruitment and retention of volunteers who want to lead the revolution in “Improving the STEM Workforce” and overall lifestyle of the participants as educational and operational leaders. “Professionals in STEM career fields facilitate our tactile learning activities.” Those activities are aligned with their career which enhances learning activities by providing real world application.
Educational leaders allow participants to explore how their lives and careers relate to Health and Wellness, Professional Development, and STEM. The volunteer leaders are key to the success of the program because they provide true insight as to what is needed for participants to follow the “Pathway to Success,” which is what Torian and Keon wish they had growing up.