A little more than a month ago, Wake Education Partnership officially rebranded as “WakeEd Partnership.” We’ve updated collateral, printed new business cards, and have even installed new signs in our office. (You really should drop by to see them.)

All of these actions have been important to our organization, but that is not why we rebranded. We rebranded for you—the students, educators, parents and community leaders we support across Wake County.

You may recall that in January WakeEd hosted the STEM and Global Studies World Café at Biogen. More than 100 school and business leaders met at the event to form partnerships that would improve education. Recently I had the chance to hear the story of Athens Drive High School. At the World Café, Athens Drive was paired with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Because of the partnership that began at the World Café, eight NIEHS scientists will spend the spring semester mentoring a class of Athens Drives seniors.

“I happen to be interested in Biology,” one senior said. “They confirmed that there are lots of really cool careers for the sciences.”

That is why we come to work. If we can help one child see beyond the formulas and the terms to grasp a career in science, we are doing our jobs right. But we don’t stop there. One of our driving goals is to support educators. Athens Drive STEM Coordinator Kristen Thomas told us how the World Café made her job easier since she didn’t have to “cold call” companies and see if they were interested in helping her students.

“Having an organization come in and save those steps is a life saver because it does take so much time,” she said.

Our teachers and students need our support. In order for WakeEd to support them, we need to engage the entire Wake County community. Through the rebranding, WakeEd is creating more connections between businesses and schools and, as a result, providing excellent educational opportunities for students.  The line of communication between schools and the rest of the community is more direct, clear, and effective as a result of the rebranding process.

This rebranding enables WakeEd to reach beyond our goals and provide more funding to the educators, more connections between businesses and schools, and more information to the community.

Steve Parrott is the President of WakeEd Partnership. Prior to joining the Partnership he worked in several senior-level positions with Sprint and Embarq. You can reach him at sparrott@wakeedpartnership.org.