STEM4Them partners with foster care communities, DHHS, businesses, churches, and other agencies to raise awareness about the need of kids in foster care. We facilitate inspirational, innovative, and safe events for America’s most vulnerable youth in the hopes of helping them find their forever families.
We believe children should be paired with forever families in an environment that is both engaging and non-threatening.
What makes us Different
Many foster/adoption events feel kind of like speed dating - trying to find that perfect match in a few minutes in an environment that's full of expectation. Both parents and kids know that they are there to hopefully walk away with someone they didn't come with, and there's a ton of pressure on everyone involved.
STEM4Them's events aren't like that. Not only do we provide respite care for kids who have already been adopted or are already living with a foster family, but we also welcome anyone with a clean background check and a passion for serving kids and foster/adoptive families to volunteer. Prospective parents are encouraged to attend and help out, too, which means that relationships can be organically built with our entire community.
We've found that you don't have to be a part of the system already to be involved, and that this format works - in fact, STEM4Them even had dedicated, non-prospective parent volunteers who met a brother and sister in foster care through our very first summer camp. After hearing the kids' story, spending more time with them, and realizing what a perfect fit they'd be, the couple went through orientation, home studies, and mountains of paperwork (hey, we never said it was easy!) to take those two wonderful kids home to be a part of their family forever.
We're flipping the script...
About Our Founder
Renee has 25 years of experience working with children in various roles and settings.
She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Renee was an unconventional elementary teacher for nine years, utilizing STEM principles to drive instruction. Throughout her tenure in public schools, she successfully integrated all content areas of the CCSS into her STEM classroom.
Renee and her husband planted a church during that time and Renee continues to be very active with children in that capacity as well: she has been the Director of Children’s Ministry since the church’s inception.
She has served the children of her community as a social worker, a public school teacher, and a chairman for many committees in schools and at church. Renee is also a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Master Teacher and is certified to teach elementary education, ELA, and science.
In addition to training educators all over the country, she has presented at six state conferences and two national conferences. She is known for thinking outside the box and often challenges the status quo.
Renee founded STEM4Them in 2018.
She lives in Saint Joseph with her husband and their four children, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org