Meet LBDN 2020 Sponsor: Motorola Solutions Foundation and Andrea Bell

Today is the day of our 2020 Little Black Dress Night (LBDN)! We are so excited to gather together to honor the ever-expanding roles of women in technology. Given the current COVID-19 crisis, LBDN is taking a different shape this year. ChiTech is hosting the event virtually – LIVE!

We hope you can join us at 4:00PM CST for this special event – register here! (If you can’t make it, you can still support the school and its COVID-19 response efforts for ChiTech students and families.)

ChiTech is excited to feature our 2020 LBDN corporate sponsors and learn more about the people behind them. Our first corporate sponsor, Motorola Solutions Foundation, has partnered with ChiTech for three years through the Illinois Science & Technology Institute (ISTI) Challenge. Each year, 10-15 students work in teams with Motorola Solutions volunteers through a course or after-school club. These teams work together to develop a solution, using advanced technology, to a given problem. Student teams pitch their solutions and volunteers select a winning team to present their solution at The ISTI Annual STEM Challenge Showcase.

ChiTech staff, Tashiara and Theresa, sat down (safely and virtually!) to chat with one of our sponsors and here is what they learned. Without further ado. . . meet Andrea Bell from Motorola Solutions Foundation!

Andrea, please tell us a little bit more about your organization and your role.

Andrea: At Motorola Solutions Foundation (MSF), we work as the philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions and focus on strengthening communities through partnerships, grants and innovation. In my role as Volunteer Program Coordinator, I create and support ways in which Motorola Solutions employees can volunteer with their local communities and causes. 

How else does MSF support the community?

Andrea: MSF prioritizes education, public safety, disaster relief and employee giving. In the education space, we support hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs around the globe. In 2019, MSF provided nearly five million dollars in STEM education grants for underrepresented groups.

How were you introduced to ChiTech, and how does Motorola Solutions Foundation align with LBDN’s mission?

Andrea: MSF partnered with ChiTech for the last three years to complete a STEM program challenge. Through this STEM challenge, I’ve personally gotten to know ChiTech students and staff. One of our priorities at MSF is to support underrepresented groups in STEM, with a keen focus on women in STEM, so we are proud to once again be a LBDN sponsor.

What is your favorite part of LBDN?

Andrea: This is my third LBDN. I love listening to student speeches and witnessing the transformative experience for the girls!

What is your advice for college-bound young women pursuing careers in leadership, technology or entrepreneurship?

Andrea: Always be curious, always ask questions and never hesitate to reach out.

And any advice for college-bound young women who don’t yet know what they would like to pursue?

Andrea: Take advantage of opportunities you have now to explore and try new things! You don’t have to go into college with it all figured out. Don’t hesitate to make a leap of faith.

Who is your biggest role model?

Andrea: My mom is my role model. I’m 10 of 12 children, and I saw my mom raise us to be caring and concerned about other people, to be involved and to volunteer. After 12 children, she ran for city council and went back to school and work. She shows that there are no boundaries!

About Motorola Solutions Foundation

The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions, originally founded in 1953. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation.

About ChiTech

Chicago Tech Academy High School is an educational community whose mission is to educate, empower, and connect a diverse next generation of entrepreneurial thinkers to discover their passions, succeed in college and thrive in a digital world. 

About Young Women’s Leadership Society

The Young Women’s Leadership Society at ChiTech provides support for female students’ professional advancement as future leaders in tech and entrepreneurship. YWLS sponsors events, hosts workshops, plans college campus visits, and facilities discussions. All of these activities are designed to examine stereotypes, explore development of healthy relationships, explore the development of healthy relationships, and fosters the skills necessary for the cultivation of valuable professional networks. 

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