Funds raised came in the form of 26 corporate sponsors, 118 golfers, silent auctions, and raffle ticket sales. DiSTI covers all of the material costs related to the tournament including promotions, greens fees, food, and refreshments ensuring 100% of the donations go to the CFSEC.
The funds raised by this event will support Central Florida STEM-related camps, scholarships, and activities. Funds from the previous tournaments supported the YMCA STEM programs, the US Army PEO STRI High School Engineering Internship Program, Teachers at I/ITSEC, and a STEM college scholarship. Through these programs, students and teachers are exposed to exciting, hands-on, and mentor-based programs that foster science, engineering, and technology skills.
Over the past two years, the DiSTI Duffer has contributed $5,900 towards the YMCA of Central Florida Summer Zone Scholarship Program. “The DiSTI Duffer tournament has played a huge role in making sure that all students can get involved with STEM programming, no matter their financial situation,” stated Executive Director Cory Johns, Middle School Programs, YMCA of Central Florida. “This corporation, along with the Central Florida STEM Education Council, convenes some of the biggest STEM advocates you can find throughout the area.”
In 2014, the Duffer funds assisted in allowing 45 teachers from 5 Central Florida Counties to attend the STEM Teacher Workshop held at Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC). Teachers worked on several hands-on projects and listened to NASA engineers speak about engineering design challenges.
This past spring the Duffer also funded its first $500 STEM Education Scholarship. This scholarship was awarded to an exemplary senior at Crooms Academy of Information Technology who was seeking a bachelor’s degree in a STEM related field at an accredited college or university in the United States. The demand for STEM Education is a national priority. According to an article published on the U.S Bureau of Labor statistics, 600,000 jobs remain unfilled because there is a lack of qualified candidates for technical positions requiring STEM skills. Between 2014 and 2024, the number of STEM jobs will grow 17 percent, as compared to 12 percent for non-STEM jobs according to Change the Equation.
“We are very pleased with our record setting fundraising effort this year,” said Joe Swinski, President of the DiSTI Corporation. “While this year’s funds will help expand the influence of the council by reaching more students and teachers, we still have a long way to go as a community and nation to ensure we stay technically competitive in the global economy.”
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