By Kathy Chouteau
A new STEAM The Streets App aims to raise awareness and access for youth to high-demand career opportunities in STEM and arts. Equally interesting? The app’s founders Ben Gilbarg and Angel Diazare work locally at CoBiz Richmond.
The mobile STEAM The Streets App is developed for users age 13 and older. The app aims to provide a user-friendly, self-guided way for youth to connect to career pathways in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), using real, culturally relevant stories of professionals, deep dives into careers, curated learning resources, mentor matching and more.
The app founders highlighted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that STEAM careers “are the way of the future,” however, Gilbarg notes that approximately 4 million STEAM jobs will go unfilled in the U.S. this year alone. “If our youth can’t see it, they can’t be it,” he said.
The founders, who say they combine 40 years of experience in education, youth development and media production, said that under-invested communities are particularly absent from the STEAM employment equation. They pointed to a recent Pew Research study referenced in The Hechinger Report that found that Black students were underrepresented in STEAM jobs, with only 7 percent of Black college graduates receiving a related degree.
Together, the app founders said they are “determined to change the course of the next generation with this mobile app focusing on high school-aged teens.”
CoBiz Richmond is a co-working site and business incubator operating out of a 9,000 square foot, technologically equipped space at 1503 Macdonald Ave. The nonprofit, which aims to strengthen community viability through wealth-building strategies, is one of the projects of eQuip Richmond, an economic revitalization initiative funded by Chevron Richmond. For more information on CoBiz, visit its website or contact CoBiz CEO Wesley Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-309-7107.