SMASH and Raytheon Technologies Announce Partnership to Help Students in Underrepresented Communities Overcome Barriers in Pursuing STEM Careers
Five-year partnership establishes STEM immersion program, focused track for high school students of color with individualized support through college and into early career
Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX), a leading aerospace and defense company, and SMASH, one of America’s first science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs dedicated to students of color, today announced a five-year strategic partnership to provide educational opportunities, scholarships and internships to high school and college students interested in pursuing engineering and technology careers.
“While many nonprofits focus on introducing students to STEM, students of color continue to face bias and systemic barriers to advanced STEM education and career opportunities,” said Pam Erickson, Raytheon Technologies’ chief communications officer and head of corporate social responsibility. “By partnering with SMASH, we hope to help break down those barriers.”
Raytheon Technologies will sponsor more than 600 high school and early college students over five years across two flagship programs:
- SMASH Academy is a three-year, intensive residential college prep program that empowers high school freshman to deepen their talents and pursue STEM careers. Raytheon Technologies will provide funding for students to spend three summers at top tier colleges, including Morehouse College, Northeastern University, and the University of Michigan, where they will build core technical skills, as well as develop critical soft skills and community building skills. The company will also provide mentoring and school-year programming to build on their summer experience.
- SMASH Rising is designed for college freshmen and sophomores. The program provides SMASH Academy graduates with pre-internship opportunities at leading technology companies. Participants learn problem-solving skills and gain real-world work experience, while building personal networks that will benefit them throughout their careers. Raytheon Technologies will provide paid opportunities to SMASH scholars. The students will spend five weeks working alongside company engineers as they build solutions to address some of the world’s biggest challenges.
Through the partnership, Raytheon Technologies has also committed to support SMASH alumni as they enter college, awarding engineering and computer science scholarships to 10 new students each year.
The partnership will help further close the gap between college and career by giving Raytheon SMASH scholars priority placement when applying for any of Raytheon Technologies’ established internship programs.
“We are excited to partner with companies like Raytheon Technologies who are moving beyond ‘check the box’ performative pledges to form equitable, actionable initiatives that have an immediate impact on communities facing systemic disparities and lack of access,” said Danielle Rose, president of SMASH. “Through this partnership, we will continue to not only identify and develop the next-generation of STEM talent, but also enable more scholars inside the underrepresented communities we serve to put their skills and lived experience to direct use while generating change for a more equitable world through tech-driven solutions. It is our hope at SMASH that this partnership serves as a model for other companies who want to invest in quality programming that amplifies diversity in a direct and measurable way.”
SMASH produces more than twice the national average of college graduates who receive bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields and who work full time in a STEM profession. Raytheon Technologies will work to source high-potential students from partner organizations to participate in the SMASH program, while also encouraging students to apply directly through SMASH.org/apply.
This non-profit partnership is part of Raytheon Technologies’ recently announced Connect Up initiative, a $500 million, 10-year commitment to drive transformative, generational impact on critical societal challenges. This focused philanthropy expands upon and elevates the company’s legacy of community investment through lifelong learning, veteran and military family support, and localized community engagement.
About Raytheon Technologies
Raytheon Technologies Corporation is an aerospace and defense company that provides advanced systems and services for commercial, military and government customers worldwide. With four industry-leading businesses ― Collins Aerospace Systems, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense ― the company delivers solutions that push the boundaries in avionics, cybersecurity, directed energy, electric propulsion, hypersonics, and quantum physics. The company, formed in 2020 through the combination of Raytheon Company and the United Technologies Corporation aerospace businesses, is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.
SMASH Academy and supporting SMASH programs weave together STEM education, mentorship, social justice curriculum and workforce opportunities, helping scholars hone their knowledge while building the networks and life skills necessary for a career in technology and entrepreneurship. All of this work aims to equip brilliant students who aspire to create the future.