On Saturday, October 26, 2019, the CSUF Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, in partnership with Western Digital and CSUF’s Counseling Department, hosted its second annual STEM event for families living in Fullerton.
The event was made possible by Mark Myran, a graduate student in the Department of Counseling at Cal State Fullerton who organized employees at Western Digital to volunteer their time to help families at the Center. The Center for Healthy Neighborhoods mission is to aim to alleviate education and health disparities, revitalize neighborhoods, and reduce the cycle of poverty for low-income individuals. Employees at Western Digital are encouraged to engage in social justice projects within the community.
Last fall, with the inaugural class of the Ánimo: Latinx Counseling Emphasis, to celebrate this new emphasis, Mark and his colleagues at Western Digital donated DSM manuals, USB drives and a variety of other supplies to the entire incoming class of 60 Counseling students at their New Student Orientation.
Two Department of Counseling faculty members, Drs. Olga Mejia and Jose Cervantes, alumnus Ray Estrella, and several students provided psychoeducation for mothers and fathers on parenting in both Spanish and English. Concurrently, employees of Western Digital, the Department Chair of Counseling, Leah Brew, and other students volunteered to facilitate several STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities for the children that fueled their imagination and provided a morning of smiles for everyone involved. The events included building and launching both air and water-propelled rockets, marble rollercoasters, tower structures made of various building materials, and designing a tensile bubble maker. All STEM events facilitated each child’s creativity and encourage critical thinking. Myran, excited about the success of the event, expressed “It’s a fun event where kids at the Center were able to interact with engineers from Western Digital to do small projects that combine creativity, fun, and a little science”.
The children also received gift bags containing beach balls, spray misters, pens, and water bottles. Most importantly, children at the Center for Healthy Neighborhoods had the opportunity to interact with Western Digital employees and experience the diversity of people in the tech world, thus planting a seed that they too might be at home someday at a place like Western Digital.