SMASH helps students of color prepare for STEM college studies and careers. The organization’s flagship program, SMASH Academy, places high school students at 10 different university campuses across the country for five weeks of tuition-free study each summer, surrounded by relatable mentors.
The Covid-19 virus forced changes to their model in March and when senseless police violence impacted Black communities in May, they pivoted to embrace virtual learning and provide leadership and empowerment to those they serve. The organization’s CEO, Eli Kennedy, knew It was vital that they communicate the changes in their program.
Their Encore Fellow Andy Arenberg stepped in, leading the organization in developing a powerful statement on the murder of George Floyd, helping SMASH to convene an online event attended by over 700 members of their community, and building awareness among stakeholders and families of the changes that occurred at SMASH. “His work helped strengthen our community,” states Kennedy.