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Tech Hub hosts event matching K-12 teachers with local tech experts

on November 20, 2021 / by Riley Kaminer ,

Read Time 3 Minutes

Fostering the next generation of South Florida talent

Last week, South Florida Tech Hub’s Talent & Education Committee hosted a virtual event to match local technologists with kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) educators from Palm Beach and Broward counties.

K-12 mentors are volunteers from the local tech community that are matched with a K-12 classroom teacher for the remainder of the 2021-2022 academic year. Broadly speaking, the mentor will aim to enhance the classroom experience for computer science teachers and students.

This support comes in many forms, including being a sounding board to advise teachers, telling students about their profession, providing a virtual or in-person field trip for students, and co-leading workshops.

The idea behind the initiative is to forge deeper connections between the South Florida tech community and our local schools. Ultimately, this project fits into the Talent & Education Committee’s goal of getting students excited about STEAM and technology in particular.

Mihai Fonoage

Mihai Fonoage, Vice President of Engineering at Boca Raton-based healthtech company Modernizing Medicine and Chair of the Talent & Education Committee, expressed excitement about the event. He told South Florida Tech Hub that “seeing the fantastic interaction between the K-12 Teachers and the Industry Mentors was such a reinforcement of our shared purpose to get students excited about STEM.”

Most teachers involved are either middle school or high school computer science educators. The mentors came from a wide variety of backgrounds, including some of the world’s largest tech companies as well as local startups and scaleups.


Sheela VanHoose

“We are impacting the teaching and learning in the classroom by matching K12 teachers to industry professionals,” commented Sheela VanHoose, a public policy expert and Partner at The Southern Group. “This mentor matching event is a part of Tech Hub South Florida’s larger efforts to address workforce issues across our ecosystem.” VanHoose leads Tech Hub’s Talent & Education subcommittee focused on K-12 issues.

While there is a growing number of top technologists and entrepreneurs in our region, the mentorship scheme aims to bridge the gap between this talent and our local schools.


Ashton Adler

“What we heard from the school districts was that they really could use help with getting people in the tech industry to have mentorships with the teachers that were in computer science education,” noted Ashton Adler, South Florida Tech Hub’s Talent & Policy Consultant, who organized the event.

“We’ve had great feedback so far,” said Adler. “The whole event was very inspirational – for everything the computer science teachers are doing, and for encouraging students to go into tech.”

This first cohort of roughly 15 mentors and 15 mentees is a pilot program that will run until the summer. Assuming all goes well, Adler expects that the program can grow since there has been a significant amount of interest.


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Tech Hub hosts event matching K-12 teachers with local tech experts