iUrban Teen Champion From Volunteer to Community Manager
Salim Mayberry – Seattle Community Manager
UT – When did you get involved with iUrban Teen?
Salim: I first became involved with iUrban Teen when I volunteered with the Portland Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers at the iUrban Teen Summit at Washington State – Vancouver. I volunteered as a Team Lead at this event
UT – What was it that sparked your interest to volunteer?
Salim – I am a strong advocate of what iUrban Teen stands for. I have always been passionate about exposing youth of color to STEM fields. Growing up, there were not many avenues to expose youth of color to STEM-related career fields and it was much needed back then as it is now. I felt volunteering with iUrban Teen would be a great way to help open some of those avenues that were not afforded to me in my past. Also, as a person of color in the engineering field, throughout my academic and professional career, I have witnessed firsthand the lack of people of color in the engineering field— in particular. There is a need for more diversity in the engineering field as well as other STEM-related fields and iUrban Teen is one entity that can help to bring awareness to this issue and increase the diversity. Lastly, I have always wanted to be involved with a program or organization that consistently exposes youth of color to STEM-related career fields. I have talked to youth of color before at other events about my experiences in STEM fields, but it was not on a consistent basis. I felt that volunteering with iUrban Teen would help fill that void for me.
UT – How has volunteering with iUrban Teen impacted your life?
Salim – I am happy to be part of the iUrban Teen program that is changing the lives for youth of color. It is opening a new world to a demographic of youth that are often left out or left behind in the exposure to and opportunities in STEM-related career fields. Whenever I have volunteered with iUrban Teen, I am always filled with joy in seeing the excitement and intelligence of the youth at the events. I have also enjoyed interacting with these youth and speaking to them about their futures while providing them guidance to help them fulfill their future desires. I can already recognize the positive impact that the iUrban Teens’ events is having on youth of color in a respective area. I want to continue to be a part of the positive impact and transformation in the current culture of STEM-related career fields, thus serving iUrban Teen’s purpose.