Local CPS students see path to college, job skilling first-hand at UC

CID, UC show local students how to reach their full potential through Ohio STEM event

Leadership from the University of Cincinnati provided an inspiring look at what is possible for a group of Cincinnati Public High School students at the 1819 Innovation Hub, the nerve center of the Cincinnati Innovation District® (CID). 

As part of the “My Brother’s Keeper” (MBK) leadership series in Ohio — an organization designed by President Barack Obama to address persistent opportunity gaps facing minority boys and young men — more than 22 Cincinnati area high school students enjoyed a fun-filled day engaging with leaders at UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub, learning about career opportunities through the CID and how to achieve a college degree in IT or cyber security through UC’s Early IT program.

After spending the morning with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and a behind-the-scenes look at the Great American Ball Park, Aiken High School students went on to enjoy a tour of the 1819 Innovation Hub where they saw up-close the opportunities for collaborating with regional corporate leaders on just how college and job training can help find solutions to difficult and complex business issues. 

Unique paths to success

UC's David J. Adams stands holding a mic while speaking to local Aiken High School students

UC chief innovation officer David J. Adams shares stories about his own unique path to college and success to Cincinnati's Aiken High School students during a recent My Brother's Keeper leadership series event.

In his heartfelt personal address, UC’s chief innovation officer David J. Adams enjoyed engaging with the youth while illustrating an effective path to management training, career skilling and leadership opportunities. But more importantly, Adams was candid about his own story as a first-generation college grad. 

Adams shared stories about the opportunities he took advantage of after high school that helped launch his access to college and change his life. His personal experience showed the eager students just how far they can go with the right training and education.

Urban impact through events like this are an integral priority as part of UC’s strategic direction called Next Lives Here

UC's Grant Hoffman stands inside the 1819 Innovation Hub with Aiken High School students.

UC director of startups Grant Hoffman shows Aiken High School students where business ideas turn into reality through the Venture Lab in UC's 1819 Innovation Hub.

UC's Ben Jones stands at a machine in the 1819 Innovation Hub Makerspace with local high school students.

UC Makerspace manager Ben Jones gives students a close-up view of how the machinery in UC's Makerspace turns novel plans into viable and useful products in UC's 1819 Innovation Hub.

As they toured the 1819 building, the eager Aiken men gathered in some of the unique spaces where CID corporate partners collaborate with college students and research faculty as they work together to solve today’s real-world problems.

Inside the innovation hub’s lower level Makerspace, students were especially excited when they experienced first-hand where ideas are brought to life in an actual manufacturing environment.

“My Brother's Keeper and the CID have the opportunity to expose these young men not only to higher educational environments but also the opportunity to truly see what collaboration and workshopping their ideas look like,” says Austin Railey, vice president of MBK Cincinnati. “We know there are more careers than ever out in the world, and UC’s advancement in technology and the CID not only puts them directly in front of some of those possible careers, but also encourages entrepreneurship, which is crucial in providing access to financial stability and wealth in young men of color."

Bridging high school and college

Students who originally thought college and job training was out of their reach now realize how opportunities through the CID, the innovation hub and UC’s Early IT program can make educational dreams come true.

Kelly Broscheid, associate director of UC’s Early IT program in the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services, was on hand to shed light on how students can achieve a college degree in IT and cyber security while completing their first year of college credits during high school. The program goes further by granting automatic entry into UC, as well as the opportunity to graduate in just three years.

The program peaked the students’ interest, especially those who are already involved in online gaming and esports. They now see a different and more approachable path to college and a career in IT.

“Students in local schools that are already part of our program, like Hughes, Clark and Schroeder, achieve college credit through courses in UC’s Early IT program,” says Broscheid. “Through a total of nine college level courses (six of which are IT specific), high school students can complete their whole first year of college while in high school, where they then gain automatic enrollment into UC, and get paid co-op opportunities with several major companies across the state and country.”

The students observed not only innovation, but collaboration at a high level and what it looks like to take your thoughts and make them a reality. 

Programs like My Brother’s Keeper and UC’s Early IT program are built around making sure all students, but especially minorities and students of color, learn to look and think beyond the normal parameters, “Because we understand that if cultivated, a young person's mind and imagination is limitless,” adds Railey.

“And as we look at MBK Cincinnati and its focus on providing access to financial literacy and wealth building, we see UC and the CID as the perfect avenues to achieve that.”

Launched in 2014 by President Barack Obama, My Brother’s Keeper organization was designed to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and to ensure all youth can reach their full potential. Since then, the MBK Alliance has taken the movement nationwide, including to the Cincinnati Museum Center in February where CID partners Candice Brackeen Matthews and Brian Matthews from Lightship Capital presented as part of a panel discussion on careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). 


Featured image at top: UC's David J. Adams (second row center) stands with Cincinnati Aiken High School students in UC's 1819 Innovation Hub. All photos/Greg Glevicky/UC's Office of Innovation

About the Cincinnati Innovation District®

The Cincinnati Innovation District® is a unique and thriving ecosystem that attracts, produces, retains and develops talent by co-locating and collaborating with organizations. The district envelops myriad innovation assets and access to some of the world’s leading academic and research centers, organizations and talent pools. Powered by the University of Cincinnati, the CID includes the world-renowned Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and other national research centers. The district’s mission is to become a globally recognized talent hub and lead a transformational movement. The combination of industry engagement, unique experiential platforms and accessible research expertise — working at the pace of change — will become a model nationwide. For more information on the Cincinnati Innovation District, visit www.cincyid.com.

About UC's 1819 Innovation Hub

The nerve center of the Cincinnati Innovation District®. Home to startups and midsized and Fortune 500 companies, the 1819 Innovation Hub is an ecosystem that serves as a catalyst for collaboration for industry and talent. The 1819 Innovation Hub is the home to UC’s Office of Innovation, UC’s Venture Lab (a startup accelerator program), UC’s Makerspace, UC’s Office of Technology Transfer and 14 corporate partners who are seeking access to talent and proximity for cross-collaboration. Partners that are currently embedded include: Procter & Gamble, Kroger, FIS, Kingsgate Logistics, Cincinnati Bell, Kao Brands, Hillman Accelerator, CincyTech, Village Life Outreach Project, Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati Insurance Company, Live Well Collaborative and Simpson Center for Urban Futures.

Innovation Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is classified as a Research 1 institution by the Carnegie Commission, is ranked in the National Science Foundation's Top-35 public research universities and secured a spot on Reuter’s World’s Most Innovative Universities list. UC's students and faculty investigate problems and create innovative solutions with real-world impact. Next Lives Here