T.D. Jakes Foundation partnered with the Dallas Mavericks and Goldman Sachs to reward the winning team members from the “Hack-A-Thon” STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) focused camp in Dallas. The Hack-A-Thon was presented by the Dallas Mavericks and hosted by Goldman Sachs, who also treated the winning team to a special night of food, drinks, and box seats at the American Airlines Center on Saturday, Nov. 12 to watch the Dallas Mavericks defeat the Portland Trail Blazers.
“The Hack-A-Thon competition engaged students from DFW to around the world since it was also virtual and was a unique way to teach kids outside the classroom,” said Hattie Hill, President and CEO of T.D. Jakes Foundation. “The looks on the winner’s faces was worth the work– for many of them it was their first time to attend an NBA game.”
In addition, the winners got to meet Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall – the first African American woman to lead an NBA team. She also presented them with certificates and posed for pictures with the students, members of the T.D. Jakes Foundation and Goldman Sachs, who sponsored the Hack-A-Thon and box seats at the game.
“Goldman Sachs is thrilled to celebrate these students who worked so hard applying a software engineering mindset to design an app and program to support teenagers’ mental health,” Goldman Sachs Managing Director Ramanathan Narayanan said. “Seeing them cast a vision and implement what they learned from our engineers to impact their generation is very rewarding and exactly why we are committed to this partnership with the T.D. Jakes Foundation and Dallas Mavericks. We look forward to the 2023 STEAM Academy Hackathon and continuing to help foster the talent of the future.”
Exposing students from a variety of communities to STEAM education, the two-week camp allowed the students to work through real-world problems while working together to find real-world solutions. The experience also focused on networking and exposing the students to the variety of career paths they can take within STEAM fields.
The winners said attending the game was the icing on the cake following an inspiring camp. “I am really excited to be here, it was really fun and a great experience,” Katelyn Demars, camp winner and Townview Magnet Center student said. “I love the suspense and working with different people.”
A plan for the next STEAM Academy is already in the works for next summer. To learn more about the T.D. Jakes Foundation, visit T.D. Jakes Foundation (tdjfoundation.org).