This summer Northshore STEM held a volunteer event to celebrate and recognize some of the outstanding work done by volunteers throughout the 2022-2023 year.
Five volunteers were honored for exceptional service: Dr. Troy Williams, Glenda Husser, Christopher Fox, Jean Williams, and George Corkern. Volunteers shared inspiring stories of their experiences working with Northshore STEM. They talked about the impact they’ve made, the connections they’ve built, and the joy they’ve felt in giving back to their community. From mentoring students to organizing events, the volunteers all had something unique to share.
One hundred sixteen volunteers dedicated over 649 hours serving 2660 youth over 12 events across four parishes sharing their passion for STEM and leaving a lasting impact on the community’s youth.Their contribution helped inspire and empower the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators. The dedication and passion for STEM education was evident in every story, and it left everyone feeling inspired and grateful for their important contributions.
( The Volunteer impact from 2022-2023 has showcased 19 STEM events, welcomed 116 amazing volunteers, served 2660 youth, and volunteered over 649 hours in four different parishes.)
Volunteers are the foundation of Northshore STEM, and their contributions have had a profound impact on the community, fostering a love for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics among generations young and old. “We wanted to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to our incredible volunteers who have played such an instrumental role in advancing our mission to inspire young minds in the field of STEM,” said Dr Wendy Conarro, Director of the Northshore Regional STEM Center.
The five honorees were recognized for going above and beyond in their service. Dr. Troy Williams, a Physics Instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University has served as Co-lead of the Northshore STEM Coalition since its launch in 2017 as the Tangi STEM Coalition, then Northshore STEM in 2019. Along with other volunteers, he provides leadership on several planning committees, including the Back-to-School STEM Fest, Community STEM Cafes and Brain Food Truck committees.
Jean Williams, also a part of those committees, is an Engineering Instructor, the founder of Hype Robotics, and the FIRST Robotics Coach at Hammond High Magnet School. Ms. Williams coordinates robotics teams to support the Community STEM Cafe event series providing an opportunity for students to have hands-on experiences with STEM activities with their parents in a small setting. She also assists in recruiting industry partners.
Glenda Husser is the STEM Coordinator for Tangipahoa Parish School Systems. She also volunteers with Community STEM Cafes in Tangipahoa Parish and serves on the Northshore Regional STEM Center Advisory Committee. “I enjoy working with Northshore STEM and believe in the mission to provide opportunities for underserved students to participate and enjoy rich STEM experiences,” said Glenda Husser.
George Corkern serves in a variety of roles in the greater Bogalusa area to support community efforts in robotics, coding, engineering and other STEM-related activities, joined the Northshore STEM Coalition Board in 2022. He explained why he volunteers. “As things were winding down at an event, a basketball game had started where not everyone knew each other. Yet not a profane word was heard, but instead came words of encouragement, acts of incredible sportsmanship, and laughter. This is why I volunteer. A stronger community connection, and the hope of a brighter future for the communities we diligently serve,” said George Corkern.
Chris Fox, founder of SOARR (Special Operations/Aeronautics and Robotics Research) is well-known for his delivery of aviation, underwater robotics (SeaPerch), and NASA AstroCamp activities to organizations and communities across the Northshore region, often through Pegasus mobile aviation and aerospace van, a repurposed ambulance. “We are a proud contributor to Northshore STEM Coalition ” said Chris Fox.
Five Americorps VISTA interns planned and organized the volunteer appreciation event. They used their passion for community service and organizational skills to execute a memorable event that showed gratitude to the volunteers and highlighted the impact of their work.
As part of the newly launched LASTEM regional STEM center network, Northshore STEM’s mission is to prepare all youth and young adults in the region for success by facilitating collaborative, inclusive and quality STEM education and workforce development opportunities. Learn more about Northshore STEM and LASTEM at www.southeastern.edu/northshorestemcenter. The Northshore STEM team encourages everyone to join and help unleash future potential. To join the Northshore STEM Volunteer Corps, visit www.northshorestem.org/volunteer