What do a NASA astronaut, a CEO, a former U.S. president, and a well-known hip hop artist have in common?
They were all in attendance, along with many others, at last Thursday’s TRANS4M conference at the California Science Center.
The annual event, put on by will.i.am, and his i.am angel foundation is meant to bring together people “to better collaborate to transform our world.”
To kick off the event, breakfast was served under the Space Shuttle Endeavour, followed by a series of different panels focusing on wellness and healthy living in the community.
Read a reflection from a TRANS4M 2013 panelist and Roosevelt High School student below
In the various panels, numerous guest speakers, as well as Roosevelt High School students, spoke out about issues such as health, environment and education– many of which are affecting neighborhoods like Boyle Heights and across the country.
Will.i.am, who grew up in Boyle Heights’ Estrada Courts, spoke about giving back to his community and investing in programs such as College Track and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) education. He says investing in the community he grew up in isn’t really an option, but an obligation. Will.i.am says he wants “to inspire change in the psychology of people in the neighborhood.”
Other highlights of the day included a performance by the classical children’s orchestra from the Renaissance Art Academy and the magician Jamy Ian Swiss.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton delivered the keynote address and spoke about the importance of people coming together to create change. Will.i.am sat down with Clinton and talked about issues that are affecting Boyle Heights, such as cuts to art programs in schools. “Never just focus on the negative, but focus on an opportunity,” said Clinton.
When asked if he were able to make one change in the world, Clinton said he “would change the mindset of everyone to understand that you can’t achieve an individual dream without community.”
Roosevelt High School student Karley Enriquez shares her experience participating as a panelist at TRANS4M 2013:
TRANS4M 2013 was the first conference that I had participated in as a student. I spoke on the STEAM panel which was introduced by Todd Park, who serves as the US Chief of Technology.
STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) is supported by great inventors, creators, and innovators. People who make things HAPPEN, like Dean Kaman from FIRST Robotics, Ariel Waldman from SpackHack and Bill Goodwyn from Discovery Education.
The panelists were very inspiring and have motivated me to bring more awareness of STEAM to my school and community. It creates more jobs for the American population, intrigues students from kindergarten through college to participate, and influences employers to hire designers and artists.
Dean Kaman is helping students from around the country compete in FIRST Robotics. Bill Goodwyn is helping students with digital books to get students attention in READing. Ariel Waldman, in my opinion was an outcome of the STEAM movement, she studied Art/Design in college and ended up working for NASA and founded SpaceHack.
Will.i.am is helping me and other College Track students just like me from Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights by motivating us to follow our dreams.”