Baltimore Woman Uplifts Local Youth Through STEM Program

Baltimore Woman Uplifts Local Youth Through STEM Program

Empowering her community’s youth with skills needed for the future is Tonee Lawson‘s mission. As a entrepreneur in the tech industry, Lawson developed The Be. Org to connect with the children of Baltimore, providing them with not only STEM development, but the social enrichment and self-confidence to strive for greater.

Lawson spoke with AfroTech about her journey to creating this youth-centered program, which she started when she noticed the lack of Black people in spaces she was occupying professionally. Wanting to build something that would be systemically impactful across generations, The Be. Org seeks to be the answer for Baltimore youth to develop a plan to accomplish their career goals.

“I did not have a relatable face or mentor. I kind of just had to figure it out on my own,” said Lawson. “We know how important it is to start building a network at a young age and to be familiar with people in the industry and I didn’t have that.”

Lawson’s hopes for The Be. Org to emerge as a vital tool for children as they figure out their dreams with a plan of action and support to help them achieve it.

““So I have created that with The Be. Org. We’ve created opportunities for young people to build their workforce plan or work plan in life development early on,” she said. “We’ve given them access to industry professionals, we’ve given them access to rehire teachers that look like them, that are able to relate to them, that are subject matter experts in STEM and in tech.”

From college readiness to cooking and coding, Lawson has programs throughout the year to strengthen life and professional skills for students who desire safe spaces to learn. The nonprofit founder encourages her entire community to join in the action, inspiring Black professionals to “Be” a mentor as well to youth who need guidance from someone of a similar background.

Lawson’s vision is changing the trajectory of Baltimore and wants supporters to “Be” in the know about all the latest programming The Be. org has coming up.

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