A collaborative effort between the Woodbridge Campus and a local outreach youth program, Future Kings, resulted in providing a summer camp to help children manage their own information technology business.
Future Kings, a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) approved organization that provides an entrepreneurial education program to young men from underserved communities, is currently sponsoring a summer camp with a STEM focus at the Woodbridge Campus.
This marks the first year the organization has designed a summer camp tailored to students in grades 6 through 12. The camp took place from July 13 to July 27. Although Future Kings’ overall purpose is to serve as a mentoring program for middle and high school boys, the STEM camp was open to all children. Campers were given the option to choose and attend one of four workforce development focus areas: cyber-security, computer game design, stock market investing and 3-D printing.
Dr. Arik King, Future Kings founder and executive director, has many years of experience as an owner of a local technology firm. King said the STEM camp offered engaging and age-appropriate instruction that converted school curriculum into high paying careers.
“The idea came about that it would be great to have a summer camp that fills a need, especially in Prince William County,” King said. “A lot of the students who attended could not typically afford to take classes or attend camp elsewhere. We felt that the NOVA-Woodbridge Campus would be a great location and we appreciate the partnership we have with the College.”
Future Kings began in December 2010 as an after-school program at Godwin Middle School in Woodbridge. Since then, the organization has provided services to over 200 young men. Throughout the year, the Future Kings hosts several programs and activities in financial management, health care management and business technology. On October 17, the organization will sponsor a STEM Expo that will incorporate the local business community and the students of Prince William County. The Expo will be held at Potomac Senior High School from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event will be free and open to the public.
“As we expose kids to the cool things involved with STEM, we can also encourage them toward becoming an entrepreneur,” King said. “The main purpose of our organization is for them to understand technology, understand how to use it and to not be afraid of it.”
Membership to participate in Future Kings is free and open to boys in grades 6 through 12. Meetings are held at NOVA’s Woodbridge Campus on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. Those interested are required to submit an application for approval, which should include letters of recommendation.