Our Blog

Partner Feature: RTW Charitable Foundation

During the height of the pandemic, RTW Charitable Foundation reached out to Arete Education through President of Community Engagement Marti Speranza Wong. It was a call out of the blue offering help to students and families in the South Bronx. “What do you really need?” Marti asked. “We want to get money to grassroots organizations immediately to help families who are suffering.” After that initial call with RTW, the funding came weeks later to launch the Arete Hope Network. The program provided wraparound support for 30 families living in temporary housing during the pandemic who were facing significant barriers to accessing school. As a result all students participating in the program passed all their core classes and successfully completed the school year in good standing.

Fast forward three and a half years, and RTW Charitable Foundation is still investing in grassroots education organizations in the South Bronx through an innovative RTW BioQuest program and other innovative programs to put teens into project-based learning contexts that inspire their work as future scientists, investors, and entrepreneurs. Our students in grades 7-10 have been working alongside mentors at RTW as part of the BioQuest and Week Without Walls Programs facilitated through Arete.

RTW’s BioQuest STEM mentoring program is in its first year. Through the pilot over 50 students across Arete the Hunts Point Alliance for Children have engaged with 20 RTW mentors to learn about diverse careers in biotech. They engage in team challenges, explore career pathways into science, and visit professional settings across the city. Students have toured RTW Investments, learning how a company sets out to invest in biomedical breakthrough technologies, as well as JLABS and Weill Cornell BioVenture eLabs learning about applied careers in STEM. Through RTW’s BioQuest, students have also done scientific investigations on the BioBus and spent the day in New Jersey at the Liberty Science Center. BioQuest mentors led hands-on lab activities including extracting DNA from strawberries, team pipette racing, and a video demonstration of robotics technology used in the lab. Students got to explore the space, engage with their mentors, and meet the Head of JLABS US Northeast. This markable group of professionals across the city has invested so much in our students this year. We are so appreciative to be able to facilitate this amazing partnership into a second school year.

 - 04/27/2024 - sbsd@areteeducation.org
rtw week without walls workplace challenge

Empowering Students: F&T 10th Graders Tackle Rare Diseases in Workplace Challenge with RTW Charitable Foundation

With curiosity and dedication, a group of high school students from The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology participated in an innovative initiative aimed at raising awareness about rare diseases. In collaboration with RTW Charitable Foundation and Arete Education, 10th grade students were provided with the opportunity to delve into the complexities of rare diseases and explore their creativity with science communication! Co-lead by Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg from Arete, Sean Robinson from The Lab School, and Sarah Garwood and Joe Katakowski from RTW Charitable Foundation, this unique collaboration was supported by The Lab School’s recent Magnet Award for Career Connected Learning.

The first workplace challenge was intended to immerse students in a thought-provoking environment where they would be able to learn about different diseases that are often overlooked. The research they conducted involved learning about signs, symptoms, and struggles that people face when diagnosed with these rare diseases. Using the knowledge they gained through the investigation process, students were tasked with creating communication materials to disseminate their findings within their community and beyond! 

As part of Rare Disease Month, RTW has featured spotlight posts on different rare diseases on Instagram. The rare diseases highlighted were Sickle Cell Disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Angelman Syndrome, and Marfan Syndrome. The posts uploaded were curated by the students, showcasing the information they learned through the workplace challenge. Each post displays the students' attentiveness to learning about diseases that affect society and commitment to health advocacy. 

In essence, this workplace challenge is indicative of the meaningful knowledge students can acquire and spread. This serves as a powerful reminder that young people can have an amazing impact when it comes to various social issues when given the opportunity to engage with new topics in creative and intriguing ways. Furthermore, the graphics from the workplace challenge are also a form of motivation to inspire the general public in joining the cause of advocating for a more healthy, equitable, and inclusive world. The work that RTW does within the sciences are opportunities that allow us to continue supporting and empowering our students. With the help of RTW, we can establish new career paths, invest in science education for our students, and drive future generations of changemakers!

 - 03/20/2024 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz

Recent Comments


    Copyright 2023  Areté Education © All Rights Reserved