The Morningbird Foundation
The Morningbird Foundation
is a public non-profit corporation organized as a 501c3 focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, math, (STEM) to underserved and underrepresented populations. Through a combination of activities such as training, coaching, consulting, social media promotion, scholarship awards, and donations, the Morningbird Foundation promotes education and opportunities in STEM for students and the workforce population. The activities of the foundation are carried out by an executive team and guided by the board of directors. The foundation seeks out resources to support these activities through patron donations, grants from federal, state, local, and private institutions, and by providing goods and services based upon the expertise and experience of its staff.
Education as the Key to Opportunity
The key to creating an effective education system is to generate interest in the students, then providing them consistent opportunities to expand their knowledge. The challenge in many underrepresented communities in providing STEM education multi-fold. Studies show that when curiosity and the imagination is stimulated early, there is more chance for educational success. Underrepresented communities tend to have smaller investments in education, whether it be personnel, equipment, materials, resources, or programming, therefore opportunities for stimulating early interest are often lost.
The United States produced 698,314 STEM graduates in 2018. The US competitive edge in the 20th and 21st centuries has always been rooted in science, technology, and engineering. As demographics change in the United States it is imperative that all communities have access to STEM knowledge that will allow them to participate in the high tech present and future. However, communities are not equally balanced, supported, and aware of the many pathways to fruitful STEM careers.
The Morningbird Foundation, therefore, is prepared to join the fight to bring STEM learning opportunities to those communities that have historically been shut out. This will be done in several arenas:
- Awareness campaigns
- Education and training operations
- Advocacy at local, regional, state, and federal levels
- Research and development
- Innovation activities
- Innovation communities
The Foundation Strategy
Promoting STEM Opportunities
The Morningbird Foundation is a leading proponent of opportunities in STEM for students from K-12, higher education, and those in the workforce. Much of the activity falls into the areas of education and training. The Morningbird Foundation, through operations such as the Morningbird Academy, fills the void in STEM training and opportunities for underrepresented and underserved communities. As the Morningbird Academy’s certification regime grows geographically, in curricula focus, and in student enrollment, more students are provided opportunities to learn, participate, and to join the STEM workforce.
Building a Corps of Scholars
The Morningbird Corps of Scholars is a growing group of educators, STEM professionals, and STEM practitioners who are dedicated to impacting the lives of others through education, training, research, and development. The foundation affords these scholars opportunities to be involved in varying degrees according to the time and effort they are capable of providing. Some will teach training sessions, others will produce grant proposals, while others still will publish, carry out research projects, guide student projects, interact with educational institutions, and a myriad of activities that will benefit the constituents of the foundation. Some of the scholars will be compensated for their activities while the foundation affords them the opportunity to donate time and effort as well.
Training and Education
A primary activity of the foundation is in education, training, and workforce development. The Morningbird Academy is the hub of this activity, providing certified training courses for students and various levels. The goal is to build, activate, and operate a pipeline from K-12, higher education, and workforce level STEM students that are ready to contribute to the 21st century economy. Some of these activities are:
Age level & Activity
- K – 6th grade: Projects, activities, contests, tutoring
- 7th – 12th grade: Tutoring, mentoring, training, contests
- Undergraduate: Tutoring, mentoring, training, contests, research
- Graduate: Mentoring, training, contests, research
- Workforce: Training, placement, research and development
An important aspect of the foundation’s activities is fundraising. Given the significance of developing and providing opportunities for STEM education the work of the foundation will be its strongest statement to potential donors. The following fundraising actions will be taken:
- Fundraising events held regularly throughout the year, including an annual conference/gala will drive large scale and medium scale gifts.
- Membership fees from patrons of the foundation.
- Grants proposals submitted regularly by scholars and staff of the foundation to support aspects of STEM education and programming. Grant proposals will be submitted to federal agencies, private foundations, and to companies.
- Sales of services, merchandise, and assets produced by scholars, staff, and members of the foundation.
The Morningbird Foundation identifies deserving students from K-12, higher education, and the active workforce for scholarships for education, training, resources and supplies. These awards help students achieve at higher levels, complete degrees and courses, and improve the odds of success in all STEM related opportunities. The foundation also creates and sponsors competitions and showcases that may have monetary awards or awards of materials and supplies. This activity is carried out in order to increase awareness and interest in STEM by the students.
The members of the Morningbird Foundation are committed to the success of the mission of the foundation and therefore give regularly to that end. Membership affords patrons access to regular information and allows participation in various activities on behalf of the foundation. Membership allows one to join the corps of scholars, to train, to publish, and to mentor on behalf of the foundation if one chooses. The foundation will continue to grow the membership ranks through a consistent, continuous campaign.
Meet The Team
Ria DeMay J.D. is the Executive Director for The Morningbird Foundation. Ria has previously held management positions in Fortune 500 technology companies. Prior to working for The Morningbird Foundation, she also worked extensively in the non-profit sector, specifically in the area of Higher Education. She has served on the Board of Directors for Great Schools Partnership, Hardy Girls Healthy Women and Court Appointed Special Advocates (C.A.S.A.). She has also served on the Society of Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) national expertise panel and served as an expert for National Media Outlets such as HR Magazine, Time, Forbes etc. Ria is enrolled in John’s Hopkins University’s Organizational Leadership Masters degree program and is a graduate of the University of Buffalo Law School and has a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications from the State University of New York College at Brockport.
Board of Directors
Founder and Chairman
Dr. Glenn is the founder of the Morningbird Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Directors. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and a Master’s and Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He also holds a Management Development Certificate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also a full tenured professor of Engineering and is currently the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Houston-Victoria.
Dr. Glenn has over 35 years of experience in engineering, technology, entrepreneurship, and higher education. He has published extensively, holds patents, and traveled globally to speak on issues of science, innovation, and technology.
Dr. Glenn is a champion for the creation of opportunities for all people in the STEM fields. He works with companies, agencies, and organizations to help them maximize their potential in meeting goals for diversity and inclusion.
Ms. Vivian Fong