A Winning Opportunity for Project SUCCESS Kids
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Thinking Cap Camp at Project SUCCESS!
As a part of an exciting week leading up to the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, Project SUCCESS hosted the first-ever Thinking Cap Camp (TCC) for 50 Olson Middle School eighth graders, providing them with an innovative twist on a traditional summer football camp, with technology powered by Microsoft.
TCC uniquely offers football drills led by NFL athletes and computer coding curriculum guided by Microsoft engineers. TCC was spearheaded by former NFL linebacker and gamified giving platform Win-Win CEO Mike T. Brown. The program is funded through the Win-Win Foundation of the Giving Back Fund.
“The partnership with Thinking Cap Camp is a natural for us at Project SUCCESS,” Executive Director Adrienne Diercks said. “We share a common goal: encouraging students to dream about their futures boundlessly. To turn your dreams into action, you have to know what’s out there, and you have to learn teamwork, perseverance, and how to overcome obstacles. Those skills will carry you through a successful life, no matter what goals you pursue.”
With less than one percent of high school athletes continuing on to professional athletics, TCC powered by Microsoft strives to provide underserved youth with access to opportunities to learn skills they typically aren’t exposed to. The hybrid coding/football camp is designed to provide students with exposure to future career opportunities, using athletics as a tool to unlock their future potential.
"I personally know the power of access to unique opportunities and what that can mean for your life options,” Brown said. "I've benefited from exposure to opportunities I never knew existed and now I want to provide that to other kids. It can completely change your life trajectory."
Project SUCCESS worked with longtime partner school, Olson Middle School, to bring 50 students to participate in the day's event.
Project SUCCESS currently offers additional learning experiences in STEM for students in middle school and high school, all with a strong emphasis on life skills that can set students up for STEM careers and beyond. Research from Google supports the idea that empathy, generosity, curiosity and emotional intelligence must go hand-in-hand with technical skills to set students up for a successful career in technology.
The camp provided an opportunity for students to explore more of what’s out there in the world for them. As Brown says, “You never know who might be bit by the coding bug and if you want to win in life, you’ve got to have your thinking cap on!"
All students walked away from the day with a 12 step coding experience and a Microsoft coding certificate.