Special to the MBJ
Jackson State University computer science student Dominick Sanders was elected Region III Pre-College Initiative Chair at the 2014 National Society of Black Engineers annual convention last month in Anaheim, Calif.
“I am honored to have been selected by my peers to help to lead an incredible organization that I grew up in,” Sanders said. “I started in the 6th grade, and if it had not been for this organization, I probably would have never pursued a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).”
With 29,000 members worldwide, including middle school, high school, college students and professionals, NSBE aims to increase the number of blacks enrolling in engineering programs, provide support to retain them at the college level, and grow their ranks in the profession.
As the Pre-College Initiative chairperson, Sanders’ role is to support and encourage K-12 participation in STEM throughout the region, which is comprised of six states, the Caribbean and South America.
Sanders also plans to push mentoring throughout the region.
“Mentorship is a key factor that enables students to understand their potential early,” he says.
Sanders’ winning campaign was called G.U.T.S (Growing Up Thinking STEM). He chose the name because he feels that there are not enough minorities majoring in the STEM fields.
“The opportunities are there,” says Sanders. “We are just not taking advantage of them. I asked myself what I could do to help.”
He came up with an idea to expose kids at an early age to STEM to lure them in. He believes that early exposure is the key.
Sanders soon plans to start a NSBE chapter in Jackson. The chapter would serve students in grades 6-12 by providing activities to help students discover firsthand how engineering and technology relate to the world around them and discover the excitement of academic excellence, leadership, technical development and teamwork.
Sanders’ overall goal is to become a computer science professor and eventually teach students who will be part of the NSBE program in Jackson.