Phoenix Coding Academy teacher, Stephen Andrews’ calling is clear, to invest in our community’s young people through teaching students to succeed in the classroom and beyond by preparing them to flourish in the Greater Phoenix region’s workforce.

Andrews, who has been teaching high school students for more than two decades, believes that today’s students are tomorrow’s employees. Below, he shares how the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation’s education initiative, ElevateEdAZ, has continued to help him better serve his students.

Q: How long have you been an educator?

A: High school 22 years, College 26 years.

Q: What subject do you teach?

A: Network Security (Cybersecurity/Cisco Academy) and Internships

Q: Why are you passionate about teaching in the Greater Phoenix region?

A: Phoenix is a really wonderful city, with a variety of employment opportunities for students, particularly in the STEM fields. I have had the opportunity to instruct many remarkable young people from the Phoenix metropolitan area, and it gives me personal satisfaction to see them flourish and become productive adults.

For many young people in our district, a career-based education is a ticket out of hardship and poverty to a good job and/or college career that will lead to financial and personal success. I frequently get emails from graduates telling me how they are grateful for how I helped prepare them for college, a career/job, and for life (which is also the mission of our district).

Quite honestly, the students are a lot of fun. Their curiosity and humor can still surprise me and bring laughter and joy to life. I feel a strong satisfaction in contributing to the development of young minds, and I am fortunate to work with colleagues that truly care about kids and want to make a positive difference in their students’ lives as well.

I have the privilege of working with resourceful, good-hearted people (including ElevateEdAZ) who want to make this world a bit better by helping some zany wonderful kids realize their potential as they transition to adulthood.

Q: How has ElevateEdAZ helped you better support students?

A: The partnership PCA has with ElevateEdAZ has allowed us to develop a new Internship class for our high school seniors. ElevateEdAZ has helped us to provide a curriculum that focuses on industry needs found in the workplace through engaging activities, lessons, field trips, and life strategies that better prepare high school students for college and lifetime careers.

Q: Why is it important that ElevateEdAZ remain invested in Arizona’s students?

A: ElevateEdAZ provides teachers opportunities to better align curriculums with the staffing demands found in the state STEM and cybersecurity fields. By exposing our students to the actual workplace environments and expectations through business partnerships with our schools, teachers are able to engage students with meaningful curriculum and develop academic habits and interests that will better prepare kids for the workplace skills necessary for their success.

Because today’s students are tomorrow’s employees.

About ElevateEdAZ

The Foundation’s education initiative, ElevateEdAZ prepares individuals for college and career through stronger alignment between education, business, and the community.

ElevateEdAZ is focused on increasing the number of students completing high-quality education to workforce learning pathways that align with the needs of industry. This includes working with education partners to support students in completing industry-recognized credentials, attaining early post-secondary credit, and participating in capstone work-based learning experiences, such as internships and pre-apprenticeships. In addition, ElevateEdAZ supports educator professional development by partnering to provide externship experiences for teachers and counselors.

See the results for yourself, view our Foundation 2021 Annual Report!

Help us create a strong Arizona workforce by preparing our students for the future.

Support the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation this Giving Tuesday. Making a difference in our community is easy.

Posted by Annelise Patterson