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This spring, I had the opportunity to attend a Lumity STEM Career Readiness event at Instituto del Progresso Latino. Long-time Lumity partner and volunteer, Miguel Guerra, met with 10 students who previously expressed interest in learning more about technology. Guerra is a Senior IT Network Engineer at Microsoft and spent the afternoon teaching the students about Wi-Fi mapping. Not only did Guerra teach the students about cutting edge technology, he also shared the struggles he faced earlier in life and how he learned to overcome obstacles. He allowed students to ask anything about his life and Guerra provided guidance on socio-emotional development and personal awareness. Because of Guerra’s STEM Talk training from Lumity, his message was direct, well-received and relevant for many of the students. Guerra’s advice: when you see someone doing something you like or are interested in, ask them how they got there. [caption id="attachment_429" align="alignnone" width="2128"]Miguel Guerra teaches Wi-Fi mapping to students Miguel Guerra shares his personal and professional story with students and teaches Wi-Fi mapping at Instituto del Progresso Latino.[/caption]

Bluetooth beacon technology has started to grow in large businesses and stores. Beacon tech is a small sensor device, one that senses when you (or your phone) is within a certain range. Then it sends a signal to communicate with you in real-time about products, offers, etc. Beacons are used for targeted marketing and sales, such as:
  • User analytics
  • Indoor navigation
  • Contactless payments
  • Proximity marketing
This is great! But now you're asking, "how can nonprofit organizations, which do not usually have a physical shop or products to sell, benefit from beacon technology?" I see two main uses for beacons, depending on the type of nonprofit organization: events and fundraising through geo-targeting. There are (at least) six uses for beacons during nonprofit events, seminars, workshops and conferences.

It may be hard to believe Lumity found a group of 30 high school students who are willing to trade their free Saturdays for the next 12 weeks. They are taking advantage of an opportunity to gain career skills, improve their communities and compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships. On Saturday, March 14, Lumity launched its STEM Saturdays program. Sponsored by Accenture and supported by volunteers from Allstate, Accenture and GE Capital, this program runs for 12 weeks on Saturdays, from 10am to 2pm. Students from local schools are teaming up to select a nonprofit or small business in their community that could use their help. Over the course of the 12 weeks, teams will assess the organization’s web presence, make a plan for improvement and implement that plan.