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Press Release  
Release Date: Thursday, October 3, 2013 1:47 PM
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Media Contact:
Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist

Patrick Gusman
Co-managing director
Social Sector Innovations, LLC

Ground-breaking Program Gives Middle School Students Crash Course in Tech Entrepreneurship


WASHINGTON (May 29, 2013) – Students from underrepresented backgrounds will have an opportunity to bring their ideas to life and showcase their entrepreneurial skills when the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, also known as (MS)2, hosts the first-ever Clearly Mobile Innovation Challenge (CMIC) at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5. The middle school campus is located at 405 Howard Place, Washington, DC 20059.

Sponsored by Microsoft and Comcast, the CMIC is a three-month project that was developed by the Clearly Mobile Innovation Coalition—a group of entrepreneurs and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professionals who wanted to create a project that could expose students of color to opportunities in tech entrepreneurship.

The project entails the development of a custom mobile technology curriculum and competition to engage and motivate 40 middle school students from economically-challenged backgrounds to pursue careers in STEM. The students will present their ideas to a live audience and a distinguished panel of judges for the chance to win thousands of dollars in scholarships, and potentially, investors for their projects.

Yohance Maquebela, executive director of (MS)2, is a staunch believer that students of color can excel in STEM disciplines if given the right opportunities.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to participate in the Clearly Mobile Innovation Challenge,” said Maquebela. “Working with professionals, and in particular, entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, exposes our students to information and expert instruction that they might not otherwise get. It also gives them a chance to work on a real-world project with real-world results. This pilot is the perfect fit for our school, where the majority of our students go on to major in STEM subjects in college.”

Aaron Saunders, chief executive of Clearly Innovative, LLC—one of the few mobile solutions companies headed up by an African American—hopes to make a lasting impact with his involvement in the CMIC.

“When I first started my company in 2009, there was a dearth of professionals of color in my field. Unfortunately, not much has changed, four years later,” Saunders said “I hope that by teaching these students to design and build mobile apps that solve real-world problems, I am planting the seed for them to explore entrepreneurial opportunities in a fast-paced, and potentially lucrative, technology industry.”

Additional sponsors and partners include: U Street Parking, Social Sector Innovations LLC., LivePulse, and Vibrant Design Group LLC.

To learn more about MS2, visit To register for the Clearly Mobile Innovation Challenge, go to


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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