VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach native is helping students succeed through reading, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.
Kenneth Dorsey Jr. grew up in the Bayside area and went to First Colonial High School. He then earned his Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Virginia Tech. Followed by his Master’s degree from Radford University in business administration.
He now works at the Nike world headquarters but often travels home to give back through the Kenneth Dorsey Jr. Foundation.
“The biggest thing for me is showing representation in these professional fields and getting the students engaged at an earlier age. Helping them get there, not just giving them the information. Mentoring them, working with their parents and the school system to design programs and initiatives to increase those opportunities,” Dorsey said.
On February 11, he organized the first annual STEM fest. Members of the Virginia Tech Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity offered hands-on STEM activities.
“Students were able to build a dust bin that was motion censored. We had little circuit boards and things available,” said Dorsey. “We are hoping to continue to expand, our first year was more to, realistically, just seeing if we could get this going then taking the feedback from the event whether is a change in venue or even potentially having it during the school day.”
The Kenneth Dorsey Jr. Foundation is an official partner of Virginia Beach City Public Schools. The Reading Pals program invites Bayside, Cox and Princess Anne High School student-athletes to read to kids at Bettie F. Williams Elementary.
“It’s a great opportunity for them as a team to do something that is building leadership qualities and traits off the court. It also provides an opportunity to give back and mentor,” Dorsey said.
On March 13, he will be back in the city for the fourth reading pals program. The same week, he plans to host an informational meeting with High School students to learn about the KD Club.
The club is an opportunity to learn about mentorship, community service and professional development opportunities.