Share this Post
Besides being veterans of the armed forces, Zeron Turlington, CEO of Full Circle Group Media Company hoped that Executive Directors LaShone Garth from Blanket of Freedom and Dana Jewel Harris of The NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Program would have a lot more in common. He knew, as veterans, both Directors know the valuable STEM++ skills soldiers gain from their military occupational specialties that many companies rely on for success. He also knew both Partners would benefit from NEXT Steps’ maker space design concept called “The Fab Lab“. The Fab Lab is a design concept for a community development research center that offers STEM++ training, a test kitchen, media production suites, retail shops, a business incubator, an event center, training classrooms and maker spaces.
ABOUT THEIR PROGRAMS
Through The NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Program, Ms. Harris created “Operation Restoration” and her Digital Badge & Skillcoin Rewards System which uses superheroes and villains as storylines for her STEM++ training and workforce development programs for youth and young adults (ages 6-24). Through Blanket of Freedom, Ms. Garth created The Act of Valor Theatrical Society (TAVTS) and Infinite Studios to provide Expressive Art/Drama Therapeutic Interventions as a cultural alternative to traditional treatment of mental illness methodologies for veterans and their families.
The Partners will begin exploring how TAVTS members could serve as Community, Science & Innovation (CSI) Agents (mentors) for NEXT Steps Partners In Education Program. As an extension of their therapy, the superhero storyline of “Operation Restoration” could be used to creatively illustrate the STEM++ skills of each soldier through visual arts, performing arts, audio, journalism, social media and address the post-trauma they go through as they recover from the challenges they faced while serving their country. The soldier’s stories can also serve as inspiration for students as they use their College Town Service-Learning Projects to demonstrate how they apply their STEM++ skills and resource portfolios to solve real-world challenges.
Blanket of Freedom and NEXT Steps will be hosting a series of “Sip and See” fundraisers and special events to introduce the community to their new partnership, the makings of The Fab Lab and Operation Restoration.