STEM Whisperers taps martech to end school-to-prison pipeline

By Kate Jones, The ONEIL Center

A self-described “bad kid” turned digital marketing guru wants to pay it forward with a program to funnel at-risk students into digital marketing careers.

T. Osinubi is the founder of STEM Whisperers, a martech-focused college and career readiness STEM program that seeks to reduce the school-to-prison pipeline by diverting at-risk youth in urban schools into training programs to fill the martech gap in STEM fields.

It’s a program designed for students whose educational journey resembles how own, he said.

“I was a pain in the teacher’s class,” he recalled. “I barely graduated high school.”

But he went on to graduate salutatorian of his class at Full Sail University before landing marketing gigs at national companies like ACCO Brands and Proctor & Gamble.

Now he wants to give others the same opportunities with STEM Whisperers.

“I’m not focused on novelties,” T. explained. “I’m focused on solving problems.”

The first step in growing his startup is getting STEM Whisperers into schools. He is working with Dr. Amy Magnus to finalize a 12-week curriculum for schools by January 2021. A mobile app for the STEM Whisperers curriculum is also in development T. hopes to see the program added to curriculums as young as fourth grade.

“You have to see it before you can be it,” he said.

T. was the winner of the spring 2020 Early Risers Academy cohort pitch competition. Early Risers Academy is a free 10-week business bootcamp managed by Launch Dayton partner Parallax Advanced Research, that went virtual when COVID hit in March.

“There are a lot of entry points to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, this needs to be put front & center as the first stop. This needs to be where people start, this is where they’ll get the most value, this is where they’ll get excited,” T. said of the bootcamp.

“If nothing else, do it so you can get a few one-on-ones with someone like Gail, who, if you had to pay her, you probably couldn’t afford her because she’s really high quality,” he added. “To have access to someone like that who’s genuinely interested in making sure that you succeed, that alone would be worth doing it. If you’re new, if you’re not new, there’s something for everyone.”

Learn more about STEM Whisperers here.

Learn more about Early Risers Academy here — applications are open for 2021 cohorts, which will kick off in February.

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