Our Vision:

A world where every child can develop their potential in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Our Mission:

Transforming marginalized kids into STEM-fluent global leaders.

Our philosophy is to empower kids with knowledge of the natural world and technology and instill a sense of responsibility to their communities and our planet. To do this, we use a blended and global approach to STEM education. Our goal is to provide marginalized kids with the skills they need to be college and career-ready and to have a deeper understanding of the world beyond their context. We want to help them develop an appreciation for their place in the world and their responsibility as global citizens to themselves and their communities. Ultimately, we aim to create leaders driven to positively impact the world with the knowledge and tools to turn their ideas into reality.

Our Story:

OpenWise Learning (OWL) is a youth development organization that is a part of the larger OpenWise social enterprise. OWL focuses on providing STEM education to marginalized kids, emphasizing Technology, Social Justice, and Ecological Justice.

OWL supports Scholars from middle school through high school by providing educational and professional opportunities, such as apprenticeships through our sister organization OpenWise and other partner organizations. 

Our organization helps marginalized youth pursue STEM careers through various methods, including Open Source technology education, international youth collaboration, mentorship, and apprenticeship opportunities. These efforts broaden their understanding of the world and equip them with the tools to positively impact their communities at home and abroad.

Our Goals:

  1. Provide real-world education and experience in STEM careers. 
  2. Promote goal-setting, self-discipline, and leadership skills. 
  3. Launch young women and men into STEM careers, after post-secondary education or through continued education in college. 
  4. Change life trajectories by providing the tools to build financial stability and independence.
  5. Provide social education and exposure to global issues to cultivate community and global leadership. 

Our Values:

  1. We believe technology, governments, education, and society are all bettered through openness and collaboration.
  2. We believe in social justice for all, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and place or circumstances of birth.
  3. We believe realizing one’s potential in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math is an opportunity every child should have.
  4. We believe in and are endorsers of the Principles for Digital Development.
  5. We believe in and support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN in 2015 and that they must apply to all countries to build a better world.

Our History & Future:

We originally founded our organization in the spring of 2015 as OpenWise Foundation. After being vetted as a DCPS (DC Public School) program, we conducted the first pilot of our three weeks OWL STEM Immersive program in Washington, DC, with a cohort of Black middle school-aged boys from June to July 2016. 

In the fall of 2016, we launched the OWL STEM Leadership Corps program. This program met monthly with a group of boys to further develop their STEM skills and understanding of community service and social justice. The program is an extension of our summer program, which focused on similar areas of development.

In 2017, we expanded our OWL STEM Leadership Corps program to meet bi-weekly. We opened our OWL STEM Summer Immersive program to Black girls, with an equal number of boys and girls in the cohort.

Openwise Foundation took on the legal operating name OpenWise Learning to communicate our mission. In 2018 we opened our Washington DC Summer Immersive program to Latino boys and girls. In the fall, we conducted a pilot of our OWL STEM Immersive program in Nairobi, Kenya, with regional partners. 

 In 2019, our global cohort will begin collaborating on projects that combine STEM, SDG goals, and youth service during their OWL STEM Leadership Corps. We also held our 4th annual OWL STEM Immersive in Washington, DC, and our 2nd annual OWL Immersive in Nairobi, Kenya.

 During the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, we held distance learning sessions for our OWL STEM Immersive in Washington, DC, and our OWL STEM Leadership Corps in DC and Nairobi. 

In 2021, we returned to in-person instruction in Washington, DC, under strict COVID-19 safety protocols. We will return to Nairobi in 2023. 


Why We Do It ->