Maydm, a Madison-based nonprofit organization that provides tech and STEM training for girls and young people of color, has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the American Family Institute for Social and Corporate Impact. The Institute supports efforts to close equity gaps including partnering with organizations, governmental entities, and nonprofits to create stronger communities, according to a press release. With this grant, the American Family Insurance Institute becomes the largest donor in Maydm’s history.
Maydm provides girls and youth of color in grades 6-12 with the skills, experiences, and connections to pursue careers in and change the face of STEM. Maydm offers one-day workshops, afterschool and partner programs, immersive summer programs, and paid internships in various topics within STEM primarily to Dane County youth. For many students, these are their first formal experiences in STEM, and Maydm comes alongside them to host or coordinate training, workshops, immersive programs, advising, and work towards holistic success in the fields.
In the third year of its internship program, Maydm placed 23 students in highly paid internships across the surrounding Dane County and Milwaukee. This year they were able to host remote internships at their new Youth Innovation Space in downtown Madison which is designed for Maydm staff and interns, STEM program interns, and Maydm educational program students to work together in a communal coworking atmosphere.
“Maydm exemplifies what we strive for at the Institute, in supporting girls and kids of color in their pursuit of STEM careers,” Nyra Jordan, community and social impact investment director, said in a statement. “This investment will help Maydm continue their mission supporting our communities for years to come.”
Each of the next five years, the Institute will donate $100,000 to Maydm in support of Maydm’s career based programming. Maydm said in a press releast that it plans to use this funding to help administer and grow their STEM high school internship program, and develop additional youth apprenticeship and summer instructor employment opportunities. This funding will also support additional co-working space and equipment in the Maydm office for youth to work in virtual internships and space for training.
“Maydm is focused on providing intentional programming that prepares our youth to pursue careers in STEM. We are expanding our career programming to deliver a more intentional pathway to move our girls and our youth of color from STEM awareness to inspiration to innovation and, finally, achievement of a STEM career,” Maydm executive director Dr. Christina Outlay said in a statement. “We want to support the whole student, not just their technical prowess. That means providing safe spaces for learning, career exploration and guidance, soft skill development, access to resources and equipment, earned income, and financial literacy. We are grateful to the American Family Insurance Institute for supporting our vision for the future and enabling us to develop our future STEM leaders. The Institute, along with American Family Insurance, and American Family Dreams Foundation, have been incredible strategic partners with Maydm.”