MOUSE Honors MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis, NYC Entrepreneur Joanne Wilson, The Best Buy Children’s Foundation, Speaker Quinn And The New York City Council At 15th Anniversary Celebration
Student Tech and Digital Stars Connect with the Best and Brightest from Silicon Alley to Silicon Valley
NEW YORK, May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — MOUSE, a national nonprofit organization that empowers and inspires underserved youth with technology, is celebrating its 15th anniversary by hosting a fundraising event and honoring several leaders dedicated to the education and technology arena, including:
- Bre Pettis, founder and CEO of MakerBot®
- Joanne Wilson, entrepreneur, education advocate and “Gotham Gal”
- Best Buy Children’s Foundation, and
- Speaker Christine C. Quinn and the New York City Council
The event at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, on May 20th, will be a highly interactive celebration featuring middle and high school youth from MOUSE programs across New York City’s public schools demonstrating the latest technologies, including 3D printing, robotics and game design.
“MOUSE was born of NYC’s first tech boom in 1997 and has proven to be one of the New York technology community’s most resilient institutions, thanks to the support of leaders from business, government and education,” said Daniel Rabuzzi, Executive Director, MOUSE. “Since then, MOUSE has grown across the country and has improved the lives of more than 23,000 students who have participated in MOUSE programs. The program has helped students develop technology and leadership skills, improved schools, assisted educators and benefitted industry by preparing scholars for higher education and a tech-driven, 21st century workforce.”
MOUSE students confirm this significant impact. As result of participating in MOUSE, youth report:
- 96%: Improved communications, problem solving, teambuilding and leadership skills
- 95%: Increased confidence and a more positive view of their future
- 87%: Better prepared for college and more motivated to pursue a career in technology, math, science or engineering
Ivan Pereda, a MOUSE student who is heading to the University of Wisconsin in the fall, credits his participation in MOUSE programs, MOUSE Squad and MOUSE Corps, with helping him to earn a full scholarship, noting, “With physics and engineering programs being cut in high schools all over the city, MOUSE provided me with access to leading-edge technology to fuel my curiosity and strengthen my passion for the subject. As I enter my first semester at Wisconsin, I look forward to utilizing the skills I gained through MOUSE and taking my education to the next level.”
Bre Pettis is founder and CEO of MakerBot, a company that is leading the Next Industrial Revolution with 3D printing. He is frequently cited by the media as an expert in all things innovative. Prior to co-founding MakerBot, Pettis co-founded the Brooklyn hacker collective NYC Resistor, where MakerBot technology was first concocted, tested, and proven. He also created a successful video series for Etsy.com, hosted Make: Magazine’s Weekend Projects podcast, and has been a schoolteacher, artist, and puppeteer. MakerBot has been a supporter of MOUSE programs and partners with MOUSE to provide MakerBot desktop 3D printers to MOUSE Squad schools.
“MakerBot is an innovation company. We innovate so that others can innovate, so it was only natural that we should support an innovative education program like MOUSE that embraces science, technology, engineering and math,” noted Bre Pettis. “It is so exciting for us to see the kids in the MOUSE programs and their MakerBot 3D printers and watch them transform into the future engineers, product developers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. We at MakerBot congratulate MOUSE on 15 years of inspiration and innovation.”
Joanne Wilson is well-respected, well-known and long-time supporter of Silicon Alley. Along with being an active angel investor and “Gotham Gal” blogger, Joanne has been involved with MOUSE since its inception, serving as its first chairperson. Currently, she chairs the MOUSE Expansion Campaign. She has presided on a number of profit and non-profit boards and has been involved with a variety of real estate transactions. She has been a champion of women in tech by starting and co-chairing the Women’s Entrepreneurial Festival with the ITP division of NYU.
“MOUSE is near and dear to my heart. I was honored to serve as Chairman of MOUSE in its early stages and have been thrilled to see it flourish over these past 15 years,” said Joanne Wilson. “I am humbled to be honored, but when I see how MOUSE has truly changed the lives of some pretty amazing young people, it is very rewarding. I am excited that this event will introduce even more industry leaders, educators and policy makers to this program as it embarks on an ambitious national expansion.”
The Best Buy Children’s Foundation has invested more than $2 million in MOUSE and has provided support for the growth and success of MOUSE programs for the last decade. MOUSE and the Best Buy Children’s Foundation are currently collaborating on the creation of Teen Tech Centers in four cities to provide learning opportunities for youth after the school day.
“At Best Buy, we believe in the power and potential of youth,” stated Susan Bass Roberts, Senior Director, Community Relations, Best Buy. “We are proud to be long-time investors in MOUSE, an impressive and growing organization that is having a dramatic impact on youth, giving them unique opportunities to develop 21st century skills and to become the future innovators in our digitally connected world.”
Since 2000, The New York City Council and the Office of the Speaker have invested almost $3 million in MOUSE. Since assuming her role in 2006, Speaker Quinn has invested $1.3 million in MOUSE programs. This partnership includes involvement in MOUSE events and school visits, as well as participation in City Council programs and policy initiatives. The continued investment by Speaker Quinn and the Council has helped grow the MOUSE program to include thousands of New York City students.
“Our MOUSE@15 honorees are a cross section of industry, government and philanthropic leaders, and they are why MOUSE has been able to have such a positive impact on our students and their communities,” stated Brian J. Miller, Chairman, MOUSE Board of Directors. “Bre Pettis and Joanne Wilson exemplify the passion for technology and entrepreneurial spirit that spurs innovation. We also greatly value our longtime partnerships with Best Buy Children’s Foundation and Speaker Quinn and the New York City Council, who have supported the growth of MOUSE programs throughout the city and country.”
MOUSE empowers underserved youth to learn, lead and create with technology, preparing them with skills essential for their academic and career success. Our programs give youth the opportunity to support their school community and connect with peers and adults who make, learn and dream with digital media and technology. Founded in 1997 in New York City, MOUSE programs have had a positive and lasting impact on more than 23,000 students nationwide.