Palm Beach FL group photo

The BTE Team spent February visiting our three new sites: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; and Buenos Aires, Argentina!

Strategic Planning Session in Argentina

Strategic Planning Session in Argentina

At each site, community partners came together for a key part of every BTE program: strategic planning to lay out a path for each program, customized to the needs of local young people. The local program partners – including the local Johnson & Johnson operating company, coordinating entity, secondary school, and institution of higher education – all met over two days. Johnson & Johnson Corporate, which provides full funding for the initiative and FHI 360, the global management partner of the BTE program, are also key partners of the initiative.

Strategic Planning Session in Palm Beach Florida

Partners working on program model in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Over the two days, FHI 360 facilitates discussions and collaboration among all partners. Strategic planning also allows for events such as community tours. For example, in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, the Johnson & Johnson staff provided a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities at the DePuy Synthes campus there, where students, once enrolled in BTE, will be able to tour to learn about a wide array of technology, products, and careers in the STEM2D fields. In Atlanta, GA, partners had a tour of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) campus, where future BTE students will visit to learn more about college options and participate in BTE activities. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, partners toured the secondary school, where the students will be recruited from and where many of the BTE activities will take place.

All partners evaluate their organization’s respective strengths and explore how all resources can be effectively and strategically pooled to best serve the future program participants.

Strategic Planning session in Atlanta, GA

Janssen and Georgia Tech partners during Atlanta Strategic Planning

By the end of the strategic planning sessions, all partners felt connected and had developed a strong rapport with each other; this will be critical as all embark on the BTE journey for the next 3.5 years. Another critical success was that the local BTE program was designed by all partners, with a draft program model as a clear output of the time spent together. In all, each of the strategic planning sessions was highly engaging and productive. Everyone in attendance was clearly passionate about expanding the universe of possibilities for young people and underrepresented youth.

These three sessions were our first in-person strategic planning sessions since the COVID-19 pandemic, and we were thrilled to get back out there! The experience was truly energizing and we can’t wait to see what these new sites accomplish.