Dell names Dell Youth Innovation Advisors

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dell today announced that it has named a group of 12 young leaders under the age of 22 Dell Youth Innovation Advisors (YIA) to contribute to the development of the company’s technology and solutions strategy in the education sector. Dell’s partnership offers YIA members the opportunity to directly affect the use of technology in schools around the world and engage with today’s leaders in education. The new network of Youth Innovation Advisors will serve as advocates for the student voice and ensure Dell is providing students with the tools they need to succeed.

“At Dell, we’re committed to leveraging technology to unlock human potential,” said Jon Phillips, Managing Director of Worldwide Education, “and nowhere is this more relevant than in our work with students and teachers around the world. We are excited to work with a stellar group of young people to hear first-hand their insights on learning environments and how to best leverage technology to prepare students for college and career.”

As the ultimate end-users of the technology school districts deploy, the Dell 12 under 22 will be involved in the review, testing and investigation of future Dell education technology and solutions. They will use their intimate understanding of modern learning environments to inform how technology and services can lead to enhanced experiences in and outside of the classroom.

"Student Voice is excited about the diverse student voices that are represented in the Dell 12 under 22. We are grateful for our continued partnership with Dell, supporting student voices in and out of the classroom,” said Zak Malamed, Founder, Student Voice. “This is an important step, as we empower students to influence the conversation regarding all aspects of their educational experience. We look forward to spearheading the creation of more opportunities for student voices to be heard with the Youth Innovation Advisors."

The YIA will help inform Dell of the greatest challenges students and young entrepreneurs face today and develop solutions to address them. Key priorities for YIA include the development of next-generation skills, student entrepreneurship, access to technology, connectivity in schools and other areas that affect the preparation of students for the future. The YIA will represent, inspire and mentor other students to engage in their respective learning communities.

“I began this discussion with Dell about one year ago,” said Ritankar Das, founder of See Your Future. “Specifically, I’m looking forward to working with this group to explore how we, with Dell and others in the technology sector, can best increase access to tools and opportunities for STEM learning in underserved communities.”

In addition to providing feedback on technology, Youth Innovation Advisors will find opportunities to engage across a variety of initiatives at Dell, including entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility goals. Specifically, Youth Innovation Advisors will provide counsel to help Dell achieve a critical commitment laid out in the company’s 2020 Legacy of Good Plan, to increase university hiring to a rate of 25 percent of all external hiring over the next ten years. The Youth Innovation Advisors will use their insights and networks to recommend innovative recruitment strategies that rely on social media and one-to-one relationships with educators, administrators and students around the world.

The network of Dell Youth Innovation Advisors consists of young entrepreneurs and young leaders in education, including:

· Jack Andraka, a sophomore who at age 15 invented an inexpensive and sensitive dipstick-like sensor for the rapid and early detection of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers.

· Sixto Cancel, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University who grew up in the US foster care system and founded Think of Us, which works to create positive life outcomes for vulnerable youth.

· Ritankar Das, 19, the youngest University Medalist (top graduate) of UC Berkeley, MSc candidate at Oxford University, graduate fellow of the US National Science Foundation and founder of See Your Future, an education NGO reaching 75 million worldwide.

· Parker Liautaud, Yale University student, polar explorer and climate change campaigner.

· Jordan Howard, sustainability, environmental education and youth empowerment influencer.

· Erik Martin, currently a student at the University of Maryland, College Park, making his own major in New Media and Global Civics.

· Yingying Shang, 17-year-old freshman at Harvard University and Editor-at-Large at the Huffington Post.

· Theresa Soares, undergraduate studying Business Economics, Computer Science, and Sociology at Mills College.

· Joey Garza, student at Connally High School in Pflugerville, Texas who has participated in that school’s renowned STEAM video-game design class.

· Shilpa Yarlagadda, senior at Gunn High School, 2012 Wesley Award Winner and founder of Club Academia.

· Ryan Orbuch, founder and designer of Finish, a to-do list for procrastinators that won the 2013 Apple Design Award.

· Cynthia Hass, a student at Boston University, co-founder of GimmeMo and a former youth champion for the United Nations Foundation Girl Up Campaign.

The new network of Dell Youth Innovation Advisors will work closely with Student Voice, a national nonprofit organization run solely by students dedicated to strengthening student-led initiatives around the world. Dell and Student Voice have worked closely in the past, including co-hosting Student Voice Live, #StuVoice twitter chats and participating in Dell Social Think Tanks around the country. Zak Malamed, founder and executive director of Student Voice will mentor and guide Dell and this inaugural group of Youth Innovation Advisors. The group will meet at Student Voice Live in New York City on September 20, 2014.

About Student Voice

Student Voice is inspired by the lack of student voices in education. Research has shown only 44% of students believe they have a voice in decision making and this dips to as low as 34% in 12th grade. Student Voice is a completely student-run and non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that strives to enhance the overall effectiveness of the student voice movement and create a greater understanding of why student voice is essential in the education and community ecosystems through its services-based approach. Learn more at www.StuVoice.org. Follow us on Twitter @Stu_Voice.

About Dell

Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. Dell is committed to helping students develop the knowledge and skills they need to learn and succeed in an increasingly digital world and a globally competitive workforce. As a top provider of technology and services to schools, Dell listens to and works with students, educators, administrators, parents and community members around the world to deliver innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more in and out of the classroom. Learn more about Dell in Education at www.dell.com. Follow us on Twitter @DellEDU.