Mouse turns 20

MOUSE, an organization where I was the first board chair, turned 20 last week.  MOUSE, Making Opportunities in Upgrading Schools in Education, is still a fitting acronym.

Founded by Sarah Holloway and Andrea Rasiej, in 1997, began by getting a group of people from the tech community, actually, 200 people showed up, to crawl through the ceilings of Washington Irving High School, and wire the place for connectivity.  How things have changed.

I came on as a Chair not too long after the first meeting.  I begin to raise the majority of our capital from the private community which gave us an opportunity to test out different programs and see which one was the one that would make the biggest impact.  We had a program with high school girls where they created their own online newspaper and wrote about their top of mind issues.  Those issues were not easy and having a platform to write about them was powerful.  We also had Mouse squad which was the one that stuck.  Hiring students in the high school to become the tech support for their schools.  With the onslaught of technology, we can have those squads start in elementary school.

Now MOUSE also has design program that is online for educators to access these projects to help others grow. There were a bunch of kids at the celebration showing their design projects that use technology as their platform to create.  It is pretty awesome.

There were photos of kids of the past who I remembered and was thrilled to hear that they are productive adults.  20 years later, 40,000 kids we touched and over 90% of those kids went on to higher education.  I am no longer involved with MOUSE but I am humbled by the work that MOUSE has done and the impact that it has made.  I am insanely proud that I was the first Chair.   Seeing all the people in the room celebrating 20 years felt really good.