Giving Back to the STEM Community (Guest Post)

The following is a guest post, written by Spotlight intern Jake Goidell. Jake recently graduated from Davis High School, and is headed to Columbia University in the fall.

Sometimes here at Spotlight we get so focused on the technical details of our particular projects -- details that may be imperceivable to the untrained eye -- that we can begin to lose sight of our company’s broader mission. We laser in on whether the cyclist needs to wear a helmet (yes) cyclist video or a backpack (absolutely not!), but we can sometimes lose sight of the actual students and families we are working with to help them understand their educational data and how it impacts their future.

That’s why semi-annually, we venture out into the great big world for a company-wide outing to do good. This June, the Spotlight team partnered with Square Root Academy, helping to launch their community center that will provide free STEM programs to students in underprivileged communities and from underrepresented groups.

Even our developers, slumped over their desks for weeks at a time, unglued themselves from their chairs and dug into this very different style of work. The event showcases for us that we’re people — all equally incompetent at construction tasks! Our co-founders worked side by side with our QA assistant sanding walls, while members of the sales team joined forces painting whiteboards, a far too rare collaboration.

Not only did this outing bring the entire Spotlight team together, but it also reaffirmed our core values of ensuring that every student, regardless of where they are from or who their parents are, is assured the same access to data and more importantly, the same understanding of that data as any other student.

Partnering with Square Root Academy helped remind us that whether or not the cyclist wears a backpack (they absolutely should not), our goal as a company is to ensure that all students have the same educational opportunities, helping them envision a future only they can imagine.