HAMPTON, Va. – Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck applauded Hampton University faculty as well as Hampton and Newport News students for their accomplishments with the Verizon Innovative Learning (VIL) Program during a Hampton City Council Meeting.
Hampton University is one of 16 historically black colleges and universities across the country to implement the VIL Program which exposes middle school students to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities.
“Hampton University’s work with young people in Hampton and Newport News through the Verizon Innovative Learning Program is just another example of how we excel above the rest,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey.
Mayor Tuck was more than happy to recognize Hampton University’s excellence.
“For the past two years, Hampton University has partnered with Verizon to provide the opportunity for City of Hampton African-American male middle school students to learn and apply STEM-related principles in entrepreneurship,” Tuck said. “The success of their training was evidenced by a joint team of Hampton and Newport News students finishing second in a national competition against 11 other teams in San Francisco. For that, I thought their success was worthy of recognition by the full City Council.”
Hampton University’s engineering, architecture, and computer science departments work together with Verizon to teach local middle school students how to create new technology projects like app development, 3D design and 3D printing.
“I can remember being their age, and I didn’t even dream of doing the things that these kids are doing,” said Dr. Otsebele E. Nare, Hampton University VIL Program Leader and Associate Professor for the School of Engineering at Hampton University. “They are doing some of the things that even college students haven’t had access to. To see them grow up within such a short period of time and take the initiative is very exciting.”
“I am very excited,” Nare said. “This represents the fruits of our labor and the fruit of love to see these young men succeeding. They are our future.”
Verizon has reached more than 1,200 students nationwide through its VIL program, intended to connect children who can’t access STEM programs because they lack access to technology. VIL gives these young people access to free technology, free access and hands-on learning they otherwise might miss. Hampton University’s VIL worked with 75 area young men.