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VSU joins Verizon Innovative Learning Program to Offer STEM and Technology Courses to Local Minority Male Students in Middle School

Published date: March 30, 2018

Eight New Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) to Participate in Program for 2018, Now Active on 24 Campuses Nationwide

Today, Virginia State University (VSU) joins a program underVerizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, to offer minority males from middle schools in Petersburg, Hopewell and Dinwiddie summer intensive courses in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)

Launched in 2015, the Verizon Innovative Learning program works with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions to prepare minority male students in middle school for the tech careers of the future.  Students participating in the program are invited to university and college campuses for summer courses that provide entrepreneurship training, hands-on learning experiences in next-gen technologies like robotics, augmented reality, and 3D printing, and access to college-aged mentors.  Following the summer courses, students are invited back to the universities, monthly, for continued STEM education courses and mentoring.  Results from the 2016-2017 school year show that 91 percent of student participants demonstrated and increased ability in science and 90 percent had an increased ability in math[1].

More than 1,400 students have participated in the Verizon Innovative Learning program to date. VSU joins 24 HBCUs and HSIs nationwide in this important initiative

“Virginia State University was built on a rich tradition of service and the ideals of passion and perseverance to make a difference,” Virginia State University President Makola M. Abdullah said.  “We thank Verizon for establishing this Verizon Innovative Learning program which addresses the shortage of minority males in the STEM fields. Together, we will have the power to change the lives of countless individuals who will be successful in making a difference in not only their lives but also in our communities.”

Verizon Innovative Learning gives free technology, free access and innovative curricula to under-resourced students impacted by the digital divide to help them realize a brighter future. To date, Verizon has invested $200 million in this initiative and has reached more than one million students. Learn more


About Verizon Innovative Learning

Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, brings technology and hands-on learning opportunities to middle and high school students in underserved schools and communities. We not only fund the programs, but we also create and administer them in partnership with leading nonprofits. We diligently measure the impact of our work and refine our programs to ensure we’re making a difference. We’ve reached more than 1 million students so far – and we’re just getting started. For more information about Verizon’s philanthropic work, visit; or for regular updates, visit Facebook ( and Twitter (

About Virginia State University 

Virginia State University is a public, comprehensive 1890 Land Grant institution and a historically black university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The University is committed to the preparation of a diverse population of men and women through the advancement of academic programs and services that integrate instruction, research, extension, and outreach. The University endeavors to meet the educational needs of students, graduating lifelong learners who are well equipped to serve their communities as informed citizens, globally competitive leaders, and highly effective, ethical professionals.
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