Imagine a designated space where you can think creatively and develop new ideas to make your dreams become a reality. Through a partnership with The YARD and Vulcan Materials Company, students at Alabama A&M University are the first of many Historically Black Colleges and Universities to have just that with an all-new Dream Space. Check it out.
What is a Dream Space?
Having a home base on campus to work on school projects, homework and connect with others is essential for many college students’ success.
Thanks to a grant from Vulcan Materials Company, AAMU was able to transform an existing study hall into an innovation hub—a.k.a., a Dream Space
“Thanks to The YARD and Vulcan Materials Company for investing and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit of the students at AAMU. Partnerships always allow the institution to continue its mission of educating and preparing future leaders of tomorrow.”Andrew Hugine, Jr., President, AAMU
Inside the space, you’ll find an upbeat atmosphere with loungewear and tables, plus essential equipment like iPads, cameras and large TV screens that are designed to help students achieve academic success.
One of the Dream Space’s key components is that students can access it both physically and virtually.
A virtual reveal was held on August 27. Check it out below.
Next on the list of HBCUs to receive a Dream Space is Tennessee State University (TSU).
What is The YARD?
No, it’s not a grassy field. It’s actually much cooler. The YARD is a platform that connects tech, talent and culture to advance innovation, infrastructure and inclusion at HBCUs.
In other words, it’s a way for students to achieve academic success through technology and virtual learning to become entrepreneurs and successful employees.
“We are so excited to bring the Dream Space to AAMU and to build on a campus climate—virtual and physical—that fosters academic and career success for AAMU’s students.
In 2019, Vulcan made a substantial investment in the future workforce and leaders in the Southeastern United States through partnerships with six HBCU’s in our company’s footprint.
We look forward to watching the Dream Space help students at AAMU learn, grown and succeed, while offering opportunities to join the Vulcan family in the years to come.”Darren Hicks, Human Resources Vice President, Vulcan Materials Company.
Behind the Project
Last year, Vulcan Materials Company announced plans to support academic excellence programs at HBCUs. The company partnered with The YARD and built a unique relationship with HBCU’s in the Southeast, including AAMU University.
Usually, companies build relationships in order to create a talent pipeline in a specific area, for example accounting or engineering. Vulcan and The YARD did something different. Together, they created a narrative and designed a strategy that helps students build long-term relationships.
Their goal is not only to recruit talent from campus yards to Vulcan ship- and quarry yards. They are committed to helping to nurture that talent as well. With their classroom-to-boardroom model, they help grow talented students into successful professionals who are equipped with the tools they need to succeed.
“The AAMU motto ‘Start Here, Go Anywhere’ is a deliverable. I believed it then as a student, and now to partner with an amazing company, Vulcan, who is seizing the advent of another level of e-learning. We are totally transforming this area with best-in-class equipment and technology into Dream Spaces.”Erskine “Chuck” Faush, Chairman, The YARD
What does The YARD do for students?
It provides exciting programs and tools, including:
- Student-powered debates on talent benchmarks, trends and behavior
- Pitch competitions like the THINK BIG NOW Yard Innovation Pitch Competition held in October 2019 at the Magic City Classic
- Dream Spaces that put smart devices in students’ hands and gives them a space to play and think
- Leadership Roundtables with elected officials, HBCU leadership and thought leaders
In October 2019, through The YARD’s groundbreaking initiative, AAMU students had the amazing opportunity to participate in the THINK BIG NOW Yard Innovation Pitch Competition held in conjunction with the Magic City Classic.
The THINK BIG NOW innovation challenge, powered by Vulcan Materials Company has provided multiple internships and partnerships to students with big ideas for improving HBCU campuses and communities. Over 500 qualified student submissions were entered into the competition.
The YARD is gearing up for their next Dream Space Reveal as well as the 2020 THINK BIG NOW Pitch Competition.