We talked to Dylan Howard of 21stCentEd on how the firm is nurturing the 21st century youths.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dylan Howard: To date, our family has been doing very well. Not to say there have not been some difficulties or trials along the way, but overall, we have been very well.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined 21stCentEd.
Dylan Howard: I joined 21stCentEd while it was still being created. Marlon Lindsay (its founder) was in search of someone to head PR and marketing. After learning about the company and its mission, I was very happy to join the company and help in its mission.
How does 21stCentEd innovate?
Dylan Howard: 21stCentEd is focused on the future rather than now. The world is rapidly becoming STEM and CTE based due to new robotics, programming, and other technologies. When 21stCentEd was being built, we knew we needed to make sure the courses were comprehensive, had a clear pathway to learn other programs, master them, and prepare the future generation to thrive in the 21st century.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Dylan Howard: As we mourn the many businesses that have not survived the pandemic, the businesses that have truly thrived are the inventors and innovators. More specifically, those with STEM skills. Businesses have been looking to automate various aspects of their business due to the lack of employees. That means programmers, manufacturers, robotics, and other businesses providing these services have been doing very well. For us specifically, parents, teachers, mentors, and other individuals have seen this shift and want to prepare the future generation to be successful and if there is ever another pandemic. They have been using 21stCentEd in order to do this.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Dylan Howard: The hardest decision we have had to make was when to launch our site. We had gone through various dates but realized there was more we wanted to do and adjust in order to meet the customers’ needs.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and 21stCentEd in the future?
Dylan Howard: In order to manage my stress and anxiety, I like to do things that require me to focus solely on whatever I am doing. For me, that is riding my motorcycle. If I don’t want to fall or get hurt, I need to focus on what is ahead of me while also enjoying the speed and adrenaline. It helps me stop thinking about what is bugging me or causing me any issues.
As for the future, we project that within the next year (specifically due to COVID), schools, parents, and after-school organizations are going to begin realizing the importance of STEM and begin teaching kids both in school and at home. Nothing will ever be the same due to COVID, especially in education.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dylan Howard: There are various companies offering STEM to youth. However, what makes us different is the resources we provide, our pathway programs, and making sure it is comprehensive and motivating them to continue with it throughout their entire education and into their career.
Your final thoughts?
Dylan Howard: Coronavirus has changed the world in many ways. One certain thing is that technology is continually progressing, and COVID has shown us its importance. More than ever, it is vital that we prepare the future generation for a future that will be STEM-based. Otherwise, they may not be able to keep up with an ever-evolving world and will not thrive in the 21st century.
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