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Meet Tonee Lawson: Empowering Baltimore Youth Through STEM with TheBe. Org

Meet Tonee Lawson: Empowering Baltimore Youth Through STEM with <a href=
Tonee Lawson is the founder and executive director of TheBe.Org STEM program. (Photo: Courtesy of TheBe. Org)

Discover the inspiring journey of Tonee Lawson, the founder and executive director of TheBe. Org, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing the potential of Baltimore’s youth and helping them overcome societal barriers. With a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), TheBe. Org also emphasizes social and emotional learning, providing essential life skills that pave the way for future success.

Empowering Youth Beyond Their Limits

Tonee Lawson’s journey began with a leadership development program for girls under the banner of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Encouraged by positive feedback from participants, community members, and her sorors, Lawson expanded the initiative and founded TheBe. Org as a nonprofit.

However, it was a conversation with a struggling family friend during their transition from middle to high school that truly fueled Lawson’s determination. Witnessing the friend’s feelings of defeat and unworthiness inspired her to make a difference in the lives of young people facing similar challenges.

STEM: Unleashing Untapped Potential

With a remarkable background in biology, molecular-biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and biotechnology, Lawson recognized the underrepresentation of Black individuals in Baltimore’s tech and STEM market. She saw vast untapped potential and numerous opportunities in the field but realized that local talent was not being fully utilized.

TheBe. Org focuses on exposing young minds to STEM, giving them the chance to explore and embrace the possibilities within this rapidly growing sector. Lawson firmly believes that STEM careers offer a promising future and wants to ensure that Black youth can envision themselves thriving in these fields.

Fostering Social and Emotional Learning

Beyond STEM, TheBe. Org believes in holistic development, imparting vital life skills like confidence, social awareness, leadership, and self-awareness. The organization’s after-school programs prepare students for success in life after high school, equipping them with the tools to face challenges with resilience and determination.

Impactful Testimonials

Former program participant Deshawn Cornish, currently studying theater arts, praised TheBe. Org for exposing him to a new field, even though he doesn’t plan to pursue a STEM career. Dymonta Murray, a high school student interested in computer science, found the program fun yet challenging, learning the value of perseverance in the face of difficulties.

A Decade of Empowerment and Future Aspirations

As TheBe. Org approaches its 10-year milestone, the organization seeks to deepen its impact and expand its reach to more schools in Baltimore. The mission remains the same: to not only identify local talent but also cultivate and empower it. TheBe. Org envisions a brighter future for the Baltimore community, driven by a generation of confident, skilled, and successful young individuals.

Tonee Lawson’s dedication to empowering Baltimore’s youth through TheBe. Org reflects her passion for STEM and social and emotional development. By providing opportunities, skills, and support, TheBe. Org opens doors to a world of possibilities, encouraging young minds to dream big and achieve remarkable excellence in every aspect of life.

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