Fundraising and Operating a STEM Nonprofit during a Pandemic

In this episode of Restarting America, Jeremy Greenberg from 97 Switch interviews Jason Coleman, a co-founder and Executive Director of Project SYNCERE, an educational nonprofit organization that focuses on creating pathways for underrepresented students to pursue careers in STEM. Throughout the interview, they discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on business and society. Coleman shares how the current health pandemic has affected Project SYNCERE and how they are adapting to new circumstances.

Coleman co-founded Project SYNCERE in 2008 in an effort to bring about a change within the STEM fields. As a product of the Chicago Public Schools, it was important for him to ensure that access to quality programs was available to inner-city youth.

Project SYNCERE currently works with schools, community-based organizations and universities to implement its engineering-focused programs, ENpowered and E-CADEMY, to supplement students’ learning in the STEM fields. Since its inception, Project SYNCERE has served over 20,000 Chicago area students, helping to increase their interest in STEM and improve their overall understanding of engineering.

Coleman started his career as a mechanical engineer for BAE SYSTEMS where he designed flight control systems for military and commercial aircraft. He later worked for Motorola Mobility, where he designed the mechanical layouts for mobile phones.

Coleman was recently recognized as a 2018 40 Under 40 Game Changer by Ariel Investments and WVON. He’s also a member of the 2019 class of the Eisenhower Fellows and a 2020 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow.