Centennial Challenge

Stories of Giving Back

FIRST ®: Inspiring careers in science and technology

Jeffrey Cadman wasn’t even aware of FIRST until he joined Booz Allen, which sponsored 72 FIRST robotics teams during the 2014-15 season, all mentored by our staff. Founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an inventor and entrepreneur, FIRST was created to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills. 

Cadman has volunteered for FIRST for five years. “I mentored one girl who was a really well-rounded student, involved in basketball and dance, and ended up going to MIT for an engineering degree,” Cadman said. “That she asked for my input and advice on her career direction was personally rewarding, and a testament to the relationships that can form when you put yourself out there in a volunteering capacity.”

Joseph Center, East St. Louis, IL: Pathway to stability for homeless veterans

Homeless veterans in St. Louis have new resources to help them return to stability, thanks to the efforts of Booz Allen Lead Associate Norman Galer. Galer helped renovate the Joseph Center in East St. Louis, IL, an old National Guard Armory that has been converted into a halfway house for homeless veterans. “The project involved multiple days, one of which fell on National Service and Remembrance Day in recognition of September 11. We had earmarked one of our fundraising efforts specifically for the center, and I was able to present the funds to the director that day,” Galer said. 

“It says something about an individual when they invest their time for a cause. Likewise I think it says something about a company that encourages and supports the volunteer efforts of its employees,” he said.

Homeless Animal Rescue Team (HART): A Future for One Lucky Cat

Karen McKechie, who volunteers for the Homeless Animals Rescue Team (HART) Cat Team in northern Virginia, remembers Lucky the cat, who had been horribly abused and needed a long-term foster home where his medical needs could be met. “I stepped up to take him. Lucky spent 3 months at the HART vet having multiple surgeries and procedures,” McKechie explained. “He got regular visits from HART volunteers and one fell madly in love with him, along with almost 2,000 Facebook followers who helped raise the funds for his medical care,” she said. “My volunteer work has had a huge impact on me as a person and on my work at Booz Allen.”