Mouse | Helping Students Thrive: From Dirty Laundry to STEM CS…

November 16, 2018

Helping Students Thrive: From Dirty Laundry to STEM + CS Education

MEET AKBAR COOK, Principal at West Side High School and Mouse Board Member

“From the time you (students) enter my doors until you’re gainfully employed, I’m going to follow you because I really care. And I want them to know that love because they know I’m there. I’m never leaving their side.”

(Yeah, he was on Ellen and Sway too because they were so moved by that love.)


  • “My kids... navigate when they come in...they haven’t eaten, they’re hungry, they’re sweaty, they may smell.”
  • This (dirty laundry) was leading to so many issues...bullying, fights because of the bullying, and attendance-- they just wasn’t coming to school.”

    “I knew I had to do something about it.”

    “It’s been a long two year journey and I’m so happy to say that we have five commercial washers, five commercial dryers in our laundry facility that we were able to open just in time for the school year.”


    “I’m just so happy I removed that barrier and now we can get to the root of everything which is just educating the kids and that’s what it’s about.”

    “We have a prerequisite for using the washers and dryers...while the washers and dryers are going on… the kids are taking a class...I’m feeding them STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).”

    Cell phones used to be a distraction to learning. But Principal Cook decided to take a new approach: “Get ahead of the digital age by helping the kids use the phones in the classroom.” Teach the students to use technology to learn and go even further by teaching them to build technology themselves.

    SO WHAT?

    Thousands of our Mouse educators and students face the same challenges every day.

    They strive to surmount their circumstances, change the trajectory of their lives, and create meaningful change in the world-- all in part though the power of STEM + computer science education.


    Tech is the fastest growing industry in the US economy. It’s also integrated in every other industry that one might pursue from healthcare and media to sports and design.

    Every 21st-century child should have the opportunity to not just consume technology but build and wield it to pursue their dreams as creatives, real-world problem solvers, and change-makers.

    Unfortunately, only 40% of US schools offer computer science classes, with African American, Latino/a, and female students even further underrepresented.

    With four out of every five STEM college students choosing their career in high school or earlier, thousands of underserved students are being denied access to the technical / innovative / civic power, college and career opportunities, and economic mobility afforded to those with these 21st-century skills.


    Join Mouse and our committed educators like Principal Cook.

    Support our youth with the opportunity to thrive that they deserve-- STEM and computer science education.

    • $180 one-time donation - Sponsor 3 students for a full year
    • $40 monthly donation - Sponsor 8 students for a full year
    • $10 monthly donation - Sponsor 2 students for a full year
    • Your own amount

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