SC Johnson and 4th Family Team Up to Empower Youth in Underserved Communities by Leveraging the Power of STEM and Sports Program to reach 4,000 middle school-aged children in Racine, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois
SC Johnson, the maker of household consumer brands including Windex®, OFF!® and method®, today announced a partnership with 4th Family, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth in underserved communities by combining the relevance of sports with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning. The partnership will create the “STEM & Sport Team Up,” a learning program that features the science behind the sports children love to play. The program will reach 4,000 middle school-aged children in Chicago, Illinois and Racine, Wisconsin, the location of SC Johnson’s global headquarters.
“SC Johnson’s efforts to increase access to education in underserved communities align perfectly with 4th Family’s innovative approach to STEM learning,” said Alan VanderMolen, Chief Communications Officer at SC Johnson. “We are excited to introduce STEM to children in Chicago and Racine in a relevant, engaging way that leads to greater diversity and inclusion in STEM.”
Co-founded by John Scottand Jahkeen Hoke in Albany, New York, 4th Family was established as a response to a clear education and employment gap of urban youth in the STEM disciplines.
“We grew up in inner-city Albany, and without playing and identifying with sports, we may not have gotten the opportunities to continue our educations and have the careers we have today,” said Jahkeen Hoke, Co-Founder of 4th Family. “We are thrilled that through the ‘STEM & Sport Team Up’ with SC Johnson, we are bringing opportunity, long-term empowerment, and self-belief to more kids in more communities simply by making STEM as relevant and accessible as possible to the next generation, regardless of their background or current beliefs around STEM.”
Added John Scott, Co-Founder of 4th Family, “To have our first national partner be SC Johnson, a company with a decades-long commitment to increasing representation in STEM, it feels like the stars aligning.”
Each participating school will experience a three-phased program that begins with a large assembly event called “The Science of Slam” showcasing basketball dunks and the science involved with how to dunk. The second phase is a day-long clinic for 100-150 interested children followed by a three-day camp where they will learn via in-depth, interactive programming. Events in Racine begin May 2, with Chicago programming to follow the second week in May. Clinics and camps will take place in June and July, respectively.
4th Family’s STEM Team is led by Dr. John Drazan and Dr. Amy Loya, whose research with 4th Family has been recognized by the MIT Sports Analytics Conference, as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Both Dr. Drazan and Dr. Loya are former college basketball players with PhDs in Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Drazan is currently an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Biomedical Engineering Department at Fairfield University in Connecticut, and Dr. Loya is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering Department at Union College in New York.
“As sports were my pathway into a career in science, I know that for many kids, they don’t necessarily see themselves in STEM. So it’s important to go beyond the traditional things kids associate with STEM like male scientists in white lab coats,” said Dr. Drazan. “Our work shows that the fusion of youth sports programs with sports analytics is an excellent opportunity to serve as an introduction to STEM and to broaden the appeal of STEM among youth in underserved communities.”
About SC Johnson
Founded in 1886 and headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin USA, SC Johnson believes that a more sustainable, healthier and transparent world that inspires people and creates opportunities isn't just possible – it's our responsibility. A heritage of innovation and bold, transparent decisions is why our high-quality products and iconic brands – including OFF!® Raid®, Glade®, Windex®, Scrubbing Bubbles®, Ziploc®, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day®, method®, Autan®, Baygon®, Mr Muscle®, Duck®, Lysoform® and more – are in homes, schools and businesses in virtually every country worldwide. Since 1937, SC Johnson has annually given 5% of all pretax profits to charity. Over the last decade, SC Johnson has invested more than $300 million into families, communities, and the planet worldwide. Today, our community efforts focus on building a more sustainable world, a healthier world, and a world with more opportunity.
About 4th Family
4th Family is a not-for-profit organization that hosts teen/community events, mentoring programs, personal development programs, educational programming, wellness & health programs, annual sport leagues & tournaments, as well as educational trips. At 4th Family, we seek to empower urban youth through mentoring and leadership opportunities, especially within the STEM fields. The central thesis for our sports science and other STEM programs is that our young people have the aptitude to learn real skills for the most critical sector of our economy – technology, science and engineering. Invited, supported, and mentored to explore their own interest in and aptitude for STEM, thousands of youth have participated in 4th Family’s award-winning programs since 2012.