Founded by former NFL player and Chesapeake resident Don Carey and his wife, Lakeisha Carey, REECH stands for Reaching Education and Empowering Children. The nonprofit organization provides inner-city youth with opportunities to explore academics through innovative, hands-on programming. The Foundation’s flagship event, the STEAM Day Youth Football Camp, merges athletics with activities involving science, technology, engineering, art and math.
“Our desire is to engage with young people in our community, and we get an opportunity to do that with our annual STEAM Day Youth Football Camp,” said Carey, a former defensive back with the Detroit Lions. “In working with partners like Volvo Penta, our hope is to introduce young students to careers they may not know exist and inspire them to take advantage of opportunities in our local area.”
The Foundation hosts the camp at a different location each year. The Norfolk event attracted 400 youth ages 6-17, who attended the day’s activities at Norfolk State University. Participants spent part of the day on the football field with Carey and his teammates participating in football drills. The rest of the day students were busy inside Echols Gymnasium engaging in hands-on STEAM tasks led by local companies.
Volvo Penta, which is headquartered in Chesapeake, provided students with insights about the technology behind the company’s solutions and discussed what it’s like to work in manufacturing and engineering. In addition, students learned why single-use plastics, such as plastic straws, have become an enormous danger to ocean and sea life, and were encouraged to share their ideas for reducing their own plastic use.
“Research shows the strong, positive impact that early exposure to areas such as engineering and manufacturing can have on the development of a youth, and these skills help them transition into a workforce that is hungry for talent,” said Ron Huibers, president and CEO of Volvo Penta of the Americas. “The STEAM Day event, along with our summer internship program for college students and vocational training programs, aligns with our company’s desire to reach out to the next wave of technical talent.”
About Volvo Penta
Volvo Penta, with approximately 3,500 dealers in over 130 countries, is a world-leading and global manufacturer of engines and complete power systems for boats, vessels and industrial applications. The engine program comprises diesel and gasoline engines with power outputs of between 10 and 1000 hp. Volvo Penta is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy trucks, buses and construction equipment.
For further information, please contact:
Volvo Penta of the Americas
Phone: +1 (757) 382 4084
Rhodes Communications, Inc.
Phone: +1 (757) 451 0602