The Dutch Bros Love Abounds Foundation and the Idaho STEM Action Center Foundation gave Reuseum Educational Inc. a $56,536 check to fund scholarships to youth camps that explore science, technology, engineering, and math.
As part of its Buck 4 Kids giveback day, Dutch Bros' 20 Treasure Valley locations donated $1 from all 31,536 drinks they sold in honor of National Coffee Day (Sept. 29) to Re:Ed. The STEM Action Center Foundation matched the Dutch Bros donation dollar for dollar up to $25,000.
Reuseum Educational is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides learning opportunities to enhance children's knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math. The donations will be used to offer no- and low-cost STEM workshops for underprivileged and underserved youth.
This is the third consecutive year Dutch Bros and the STEM Action Center Foundation have paired caffeine and STEM learning to help fuel Idaho's economy. The 2019 yield nearly matches the two previous year's combined results of $62,184.
Dutch Bros was the STEM Action Center Foundation's first big benefactor two years ago. The nonprofit was established in October 2017 to raise awareness and funding for science, technology, engineering, and math education and related workforce development efforts. It offers a way for organizations and individuals to make tax-deductible donations to the STEM Action Center and enhance the investment the state has made in the Idaho STEM community.
With assistance from Idaho First Lady Teresa Soulen Little, local Dutch Bros owners and STEM Action Center staff presented representatives from Reuseum Educational with their check in the fourth floor rotunda of the Idaho State Capitol Building.
"We are so grateful to the leaders at Dutch Bros for their vision and foresight in making this fundraising effort happen year after year, and to their customers for their generous giving," the First Lady said. "The tens of thousands of dollars raised in a few years makes it possible for kids to immerse themselves in STEM camps and workshops. With the continued efforts of companies like Dutch Bros, partners like Reuseum, and STEM education leaders like Dr. Hemingway and her crew at the STEM Action Center, there is promise that we will prepare today's students with the skills they will need as they enter the workforce 10-15 years from now -- and beyond."
Dutch Bros Coffee CEO and co-founder Travis Boersma was ecstatic about the results.
"Every year our customers blow our minds with their support," Boersma said. "This year's totals show STEM education is as important to them as it is to us. We're just so grateful for the opportunity to help."
Re:Ed executive director Steve Rodoletz is thrilled to receive the attention and assistance.
"Everyone at Reuseum Educational is very appreciative of our local Dutch Bros owners and their staff and the wonderful people at the STEM Action Center and its foundation," he said. "I'd like to thank them and the First Lady for helping bring science, technology, engineering, and math education into the lives of underprivileged and underserved children."
STEM Action Center executive director Dr. Angela Hemingway said opportunities like the Reuseum Educational camps are important to the future of Idaho, because STEM learning happens everywhere, not just inside the classroom.
"Idaho youth spend as much as 80 percent of their time outside of a traditional classroom," she said. "Providing students with the opportunity to attend high-quality STEM camps allows them to extend their learning of STEM concepts that will benefit them in the classroom and beyond. STEM jobs in Idaho are abundant, and participation in STEM camps helps students increase their technical knowledge of STEM while also improving their critical and creative thinking skills along with practicing teamwork and collaboration."