Drone Pilot SchoolVictory Lap 5k run for STEM scholarships–A foot race to make careers in science, technology, engineering and math more attainable for African American and Latinx families | News

July 21, 2021by helo-10

Greensboro –   The Victory Lap 5K invites spectators and runners of all abilities to compete for an important cause: scholarships for underrepresented students studying for STEM careers. Inspired by the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, Victory Lap 5K is the first fundraiser supporting the new Be Great Foundation, that seeks to raise capital for STEM education, equity and entrepreneurship. 

PHOTO DETAILS: The Be Great Foundation hosted its first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) workshop, in Lindley Park, with an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS or drone) workshop led by FAA-certified drone pilot and photographer David Small. L-R: Jason Southerland, Julian Gordon, David Small, Ciandress Jackson, AJ McKoy, James McKnight, Conrad Johnson. 

Victory Lap 5k will be Saturday, August 14 in Country Park in Greensboro. The race starts at 9 am with registration opening at 7 am. For more information and to register for the Victory Lap 5k race, or to sponsor or host an exhibit in the vendor marketplace, visit VictoryLap5k.com.

An empowering and informative family-focused event, Victory Lap 5k includes food trucks and vendor booths. Admission to the event is free. (There is a fee to run in the 5k.) Following the run, there will be a “Dedication Celebration” for the Be Great Foundation and “wealth workshops.” Topics include Business & Entrepreneurship 101 with Professor Antwon Forman of NC A&T University and “Getting Started with Real Estate Investing,” with PCA Investment Advisors.

“Nipsey Hussle was passionate about making a difference in his own backyard,” says Ciandress Jackson, Be Great Foundation founder. “Through this event we hope to make a tangible impact to our community by supporting the dreams of local students and entrepreneurs.” 

All proceeds will go to benefit students and young adults from underrepresented populations pursuing STEM career fields or aspiring towards technology entrepreneurship with the bulk of proceeds providing scholarships for local middle-school and high school students interested in attending STEM camps and enrichment programs.

Victory Lap 5k is sponsored by The Be Great Foundation, a non-profit with a mission of making STEM education and careers more accessible to Black and Latinx students.

The Be Great Foundation is the brainchild of Ciandress Jackson. As a woman of color and a software consultant, Jackson has a career she loves, and she wants to share. However, Jackson knows most STEM professionals currently don’t look like her. 

Only about three percent of African American and Latinx employees make it to the top of US tech firms. https://www.govtech.com/workforce/black-latino-people-are-being-left-out-of-the-tech-workforce.html

Jackson founded the Be Great Foundation to change this. The focus is on education and jobs in STEM and the mission is bigger: career, income and wealth equity. 


The Be Great mission is to alleviate income, wealth and opportunity disparity by facilitating and deploying STEM (science, engineering, technology and math) related content, events, and educational experiences aimed at helping people from marginalized backgrounds. 

“We want this cohort to obtain steady and high paying employment, while starting the journey towards building generational wealth,” said Jackson. “As the income, wealth and opportunity gap grows, we want to address it now with a learning solution.” 

The Be Great Foundation will offer app development and game design bootcamps for kids ages 10-17, a mentorship collaborative for students and young adults studying and starting STEM careers, the Equitable Heritage and Pride Project, celebrating minority leadership in education and, eventually, a scholarship foundation. 

Jackson is an Atlanta transplant and has been busy recruiting local professionals to guide the Be Great Foundation in her new home. 

The Be Great Foundation will host its first event, a 5k run fundraising event on August 14, with an official announcement to follow. STEM programs, including IT bootcamps are planned to begin this fall. 

About the Be Great Foundation

The Be Great Foundation is a 501c3 organization that advocates for diversity in STEM and encourage economic empowerment by educating, equipping, and exposing people from marginalized communities to the jobs and businesses of the future through STEM events and programming. 

Ciandress Jackson bio: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ciandress/

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