De’ja Jones’ Positive Impact for the Future

De’ja Jones is Project Exploration’s Building Block Club Facilitator. While her title may be long, her role is even more significant. Project Exploration has a history of working with middle and high school youth. When the West Side STEM Learning Center (SLC) began offering full-time programming in the Austin community, the programs were designed for middle school youth. However, we learned that many of those students care for younger siblings and cousins. With that in mind, Building Block Club (BBC) was created. The name was created and selected by the students themselves. De’ja came on board in November to work with our youngest students, in grades K–3.  

More about De’ja

De’ja was born and raised on the west side of Chicago in the Austin community. She is currently attending Triton College to earn an Associate of Applied Science Early Childhood Education degree. She then plans to transfer to a four-year institution to finish her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Her passion is helping to shape the eager young minds of the next generations.

Serving as a STEM Mentor

De’ja loves giving back to the community by serving as a mentor to Chicago’s youth. She said, “It brings warmth into my heart to inspire the youth with my knowledge about science. Science gives the youth the ability to be innovators. Science molds the youth to create their questions to problems in the world and how to cultivate a solution to make it better. This is why I am proud to work for Project Exploration. Project Exploration paves the way for underrepresented youth in Chicago to exposure in STEM.

De’Ja Nurturing Curiosity

My favorite part of being a STEM facilitator is having fun and getting messy with my little scientists! It is amazing how science can bring excitement into a child’s life. I also enjoy their curiosity about science which allows them to make their hypothesis. What I hope to take away from this experience with the youth of Project Exploration that it is possible to make a positive impact for our future by coming together to share our knowledge while supporting one another through our journeys’.“

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