February  Newsletter
Welcome to the Mobile Area Education Foundation's February 2016 newsletter. Each month we work to provide our local public school students and teachers with the best tools needed to put students on track to graduate ready for college and career. All of our work aims to provide support and to enhance the learning experiences our students receive in Mobile County.  
Introducing Vital Link 2.0

To help provide a solution to the skilled workforce shortage in our region, and the need to attract our youth to return to work in Mobile after post-secondary education, MAEF is excited to announce Vital Link 2.0. Vital Link 2.0 has been designed to fulfill a lack of meaningful real-world internship opportunities for our high school aged youth. 

For four weeks in June, rising Mobile County Public School high school seniors are hired as Vital Link 2.0 interns by area businesses. Considered as a once in a lifetime opportunity for over 100 MCPSS high school career academy students, interns will be paid to work 15 hours per week to gain a valuable real-world real-time experience in areas of career interest. 

Vital Link 2.0 also  offers a variety of career-readiness opportunities to assist interns in connecting their career interest with their post-secondary education and career planning. Vital Link 2.0 interns are prepared in advance through resume support, career exploration, and mock interviews.  

MAEF is currently looking for area businesses to serve as Vital Link 2.0 employers. This can provide local businesses the opportunity to expand their talent pipeline by introducing youth to their specific industry; bring fresh ideas, energy, and creativity to their office; and so much more. If you are interested in becoming a Vital Link 2.0 employer and providing a one-of-a-kind experience for the next generation of employees contact Jabaria Jenkins at 251.476.0002 or by email

MAEF Leading Charge for Mobile to have 75,000 Degreed Citizens by 2030 
Mobile, AL was one of 75 cities represented during Lumina Foundation's  Community Partnership for Attainment (CPA) Convening which took place in St.
Louis, MO on February 8-10. The CPA sites are working to accomplish Goal  2025: 60% of Americans with a high-quality postsecondary degree or
credential by 2025. The 3-day convening featured keynote speakers, deep dive
trainings, community-driven programming and networking to facilitate
learning and collaboration in communities. 
MAEF Director of Strategic Initiatives, Chandra Scott (center) presented Mobile work while in St. Louis

The Mobile Area Education Foundation set a goal of 75,000 Degrees by 2030 as
a strategy to doubling the number of postsecondary degrees and credentials
in Mobile. While many Mobilians were celebrating Mardi Gras, Chandra Scott,
Mobile Area Education Foundation; Dr. Kathy Thompson, University of South
Alabama and Robert McWilliams, Bishop State Community College represented
Mobile by sharing lessons learned through our cross-sector attainment
efforts and how to strategically strengthen partnership health.

For more information on our work with Lumina Foundation click here

MAEF Partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama and  Hargrove Engineers + Constructors Work Off to Great Start 
MAEF's partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Alabama and Hargrove Engineers + Constructors is underway at the Semmes and Kiwanis Clubs. MAEF's Engaging Youth through  Engineering  (EYE) team are using our in-house developed Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) modules to over 30 students at each club after school.

Students are being taught a series of design challenges that enhance their math and science skill sets, while also incorporating an engineering component. In addition to working in teams on design challenges, students are introduced to fun hands on activities and are taken on field trips. On February 8th, the group from Semmes visited the University of South Alabama's College of Engineering where they learned about Newton's Law and the average rate of speed. Students also built and designed ground-based vehicles powered by a balloon to test speed and direction. 

Hargrove Engineers + Constructors has committed $180,000 over the next three years to bring middle school STEM modules developed by MAEF to area clubs. I
t is our goal to help ensure all students graduate ready for college and career, and this newly formed partnership allows us to continue down a path of success. 

Calling All Volunteers!
MAEF has set a goal to have 500 Reading Buddy volunteers in elementary schools this year, and we need your help! If you are looking for a fulfilling volunteer experience where you can change the life of a student, but also change yours as well, then you need to become a Reading Buddy. 

Reading aloud with a child who needs to improve their literacy skills is one of the most effective ways to do so. The MAEF Reading Buddy program pairs volunteers with elementary school students who need extra time to work on reading skills. Our "Buddies" commit at least one hour a week for a school year to help students improve their skills. Reading is fundamental in fostering a love of learning. Join MAEF as we strive to support the essential indicators of what is needed for students to graduate ready. 

If you are interested in learning more about the program or becoming a Reading Buddy contact Lee Williams by  email  or by calling 251.470.5219. New Reading Buddy Volunteer Orientations are underway. Visit our Volunteer Portal for up to date Reading Buddy training opportunities. Help change a life and become a Reading Buddy today. 


Congratulations to Our EEOP Graduates

MAEF's Evening Education Options Program (EEOP) prides itself in offering an alternative pathway to graduation for at-risk students. Already this year, nine students have completed all requirements to receive a Mobile County Public School diploma and walk with the 2016 graduating class this spring. Help us congratulate these students in reaching the finish line of high school! 

A special congratulations  goes  to former EEOP student, Dallas Walkman. In addition to graduating, Dallas was hired by  Dauphin Way United Methodist Church  through our College and Career Development speaker series. Dallas is a perfect example of the opportunities afforded to students through EEOP!
It's FAFSA Time

Figuring out how to pay for college can be one of the biggest barriers students face when deciding whether or not higher education can be a reality. Scholarships to your school of choice helps a great deal, but at times that may not be enough to cover the ever rising cost of post-secondary education. Luckily the U.S. Department of Education offers a way for all students to find aid to help them attend college. 

In our efforts to reach 75,000 degreed citizens in Mobile by 2030, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can play a major role in helping us achieve our goal. FAFSA is the easiest way to find money for college. Aid comes in many forms, grants, loans, and work-study options, which allows for millions of students across the country to further their education. 

FAFSA deadlines are quickly approaching, and all high school seniors should apply. All programs are rewarded based on financial need. Each state and individual school has a specific deadline that students must adhere to. Some schools will not consider you for individual scholarships until a FAFSA is complete. Visit the federal student aid  website for more information on how to fill out a FAFSA and FAFSA deadlines. 

Support MAEF
As a vital partner to public schools, MAEF innovates and creates programing that enhances the quality of education our students receive, builds up our teachers and principals, and provides alternative pathways to obtaining a high school diploma.  Investing in MAEF means that our community will be provided with accurate actionable data for assessing the effectiveness of our initiatives through it's data driven platform; MAEF will continue to develop and coordinate strategic partners like you; and secure matching funds through grants and contracts to make your donations go farther.  Visit our website  to make your contribution or sign up to volunteer today. 

The Mobile Area Education Foundation, founded in 1992, is Mobile's only community based non-profit leading a county-wide partnership of citizens, businesses, public schools, and public agencies working together to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to succeed, experience a rigorous and relevant education, graduating college- and career-ready.