AALEADers Explore STEM Careers at Verizon

By Yuanlong, AALEAD DC Youth
Photos Courtesy of Mario Acosta-Velez, Verizon, & Tina Ngo, AALEAD Staff

Last Tuesday, the Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) DC Middle & High School Summer Program had the opportunity to visit one of Verizon’s central DC facilities. We had already kicked off the summer at Verizon’s DC headquarters by learning about Ki Wilson (a Verizon staff member and AALEAD Board Member) and his career pathway and were excited to see all the technology that he mentioned at our first meeting.

At first, I wasn’t sure information technology was what interested me in terms of careers. However, what I experienced at Verizon was truly fascinating! As we walked through all the technology used to allow our internet and phones to work, we learned that there are so many different career opportunities that are available when working with a big company such as Verizon – even if its main focus is on phone and internet services. Through all the new vocabulary words and stories that our tour guides shared, we learned more about them and their journeys to a career at Verizon. We also saw technology such as fiber optics, switchboards, wires, and machines that allow us to communicate with our friends and family in and out of the country.

One of my favorite parts about visiting Verizon was learning more about internet speed and connection. Ki explained to me that internet speed is connected to the amount of bandwidth an internet connection has, which means that sometimes the internet can be slow if the bandwidth has reached its maximum capacity. Learning more about this topic helped me discover my passion for bandwidth and information technology. While I felt unsure at the beginning of this visit, learning more about bandwidth and all of the technology used at Verizon helped me decide that a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) is what I want to pursue. This will give me the knowledge and power to improve bandwidth so that the internet will be much faster for others – maybe I’ll even work for Verizon in the future!

Overall, I am truly grateful to have experienced such a great tour and for all that Verizon has done for AALEAD this summer. Thank you to the Verizon team for taking the time to speak with us and for sparking the interest in STEM for many of us through last week’s tour!

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