A Look Back at a Remarkable Journey in 2023

As we wind down on 2023, the Readiness Institute at Penn State would like to take a moment to reflect on a year filled with growth, community impact, and recognition. Our partnerships and participation have helped us recommit to fostering innovation and preparing learners for the future. Let’s dive into the highlights of the past year!

Summer Program Soars to New Heights

The 2023 Summer Program group at the Energy Innovation Center
Sixty-four learners in Pittsburgh and Central PA joined us for six weeks of the Summer Program.

The third year of our flagship Summer Program marked a milestone in our ongoing commitment to empowering learners to be community and future ready. Not only did we continue to make strides in Pittsburgh, but we also expanded our reach into Central Pennsylvania, engaging even more students to explore their pathways to success. The 64 learners saw six weeks of 50+ field trips, 20+ workshops/speakers, and 40 hours of combined community service.  

A significant addition to our team in 2023 was Fred Quinn III, who joined as the Alumni Network Coordinator. Fred not only brought a wealth of experience but also played a crucial role in fostering connections among past learners of the Summer Program. Throughout the year, learners and alumni joined us for reunions and workshops to share experiences, insights, and continue their journey of lifelong learning.

Community Connections: Bridging Gaps, Inspiring Futures

student with business partner
More than 300 students and educators from school districts across Southwestern Pennsylvania gathered in April for the STEM Summit

Our team also worked with several Penn State campuses in the area, reaching local high schoolers and providing them with insights into the exciting worlds of entrepreneurship and AI. These sessions, which took place at Penn State Beaver, Penn State Greater Allegheny, Penn State Fayette, and Penn State New Kensington, aimed to inspire the next generation of leaders and innovators.

Earlier in the year, we teamed up with Future Ready Schools to launch the Future Ready Learner Design Process for educators. This initiative empowers schools and educators to integrate forward-thinking strategies into their curricula, ensuring that students are equipped with the skills needed for the rapidly evolving landscape.

Collaboration was a key theme in 2023, as we co-hosted and hosted a series of student initiatives, including WAICY, STEM Summit, Launch Your Future, and the Mark Cuban AI Bootcamp. These events provided platforms for students to showcase their talents, exchange ideas, and immerse themselves in the world of innovation.

Recognition: A Testimony to Excellence

Christopher Robinson and Emma Hance
Christopher Robinson (Greater Allegheny) and Emma Hance were named 40 Under 40 honorees by Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP

The Readiness Institute received prestigious accolades in 2023, underscoring our commitment to excellence and community impact. The Community Engagement Award from Pittsburgh Public Schools recognized our efforts in making a positive difference in the lives of learners. Additionally, the Global Outstanding Organization Award from WAICY highlighted our international influence and leadership in the field of education.

Individual excellence was also celebrated, with Emma Hance being honored by Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP as a 40 Under 40 awardee. Emma’s dedication and contributions have played a vital role in advancing the Institute’s mission and impact.

To the Moon: Penn State Day at the Moonshot Museum

Amanda, Sakesh, Sam at the Moonshot Museum.
Penn State Day at Moonshot Museum celebrated the upcoming launch of Hope Moonshot.

A big highlight of the year was Penn State Day at the Moonshot Museum in November, which celebrated the upcoming launch the Peregrine mission, which will hold thousands of hopes from the Hope Moonshot project. This event at the Museum symbolized our commitment to reaching new heights and exploring uncharted territories in education. It was a day of inspiration, collaboration, and envisioning a future where learners are equipped with the skills to navigate the challenges of tomorrow.

As we look back on 2023, the Readiness Institute at Penn State is grateful for the support of our community, the dedication of our team, and the enthusiasm of our learners. We enter the new year with a renewed sense of purpose, ready to continue our journey of empowering learners and shaping the future of education.

Here’s to another year of innovation, collaboration, and readiness for what lies ahead!