Association Team To Cycle 355 Miles for STEM Scholarships
Staff members at the defense and intelligence industry association AFCEA International will cycle from Pittsburgh to DC next week to help raise money and awareness for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.
Putting the fun in fundraising, a group of AFCEA International staff members will embark on a six-day, 355-mile bike trip this Sunday to raise money and awareness for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
The trek from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC, is part of the second annual Cycle for STEM, sponsored by the association’s educational foundation. The event, which raised more than $32,000 for scholarships and grants last year and aims to raise $75,000 this year, also serves to promote the importance of STEM education in the United States.
“We felt that doing this ride might be a perfect way to expand the foundation’s STEM outreach and that it could also become a good fundraiser to add to the available scholarship and grant dollars,” said Terry Rogers, AFCEA manager of events, who cofounded the ride last year with his colleague Sean McGowan, director of member and chapter services.
It all started when McGowan and Rogers were trying to come up with ideas for longer bike rides than their usual 10 to 20 miles and decided on the trip from Pittsburgh to DC.
“Once it became clear that both of us were serious, it didn’t take long before the idea of doing it as a fundraiser came up,” McGowan said. “Raising money for the AFCEA Educational Foundation made perfect sense. Terry and I both work for AFCEA International and feel strongly about the STEM scholarships and grants presented by the foundation. Funding these programs is always a challenge, so we viewed this as a way to support their good work while doing something fun and healthy.”
AFCEA staff who are not able to commit to the six-day trip can participate in a four-day or one-day ride option. They can also serve as event support staff, helping with logistics, promoting the event, and transporting riders to different meeting locations.
The event is a fun, healthy way to raise awareness around an issue of great importance to AFCEA, said Rita Boland, senior news editor of the association’s SIGNAL magazine and social media lead for Cycle for STEM.
“AFCEA International is largely a defense and homeland security association. Many of our member companies need … people who have science, math, technology, and engineering skills, so we’re trying to make sure that people go into those fields and get educated,” Boland said. “This is very important to our association, to our membership, and, really, to society.”