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Hyundai's "New Thinking" About Math Education and STEM Leaders

Hyundai Motor America and MIND Research Institute announced a partnership that will bring ST Math to 15 more high-need schools in four metro areas across the country.  Walter Rodriguez, Hyundai’s Manager of Diversity Inclusion & Social Responsibility and a member of MIND Research’s Diversity Council, answers a few questions about the partnership.

Q. How did Hyundai become involved with MIND?
We first learned about MIND Research in our discussions with the Fountain Valley School District three years ago. We were evaluating a few educational programs and were intrigued with the MIND Research concept. After visiting a couple of schools using MIND’s ST Math software program and talking with both teachers and administrators, we really took notice of their results. Their empirical data was very compelling.  

Q: What is it about MIND’s mission that aligns with Hyundai community outreach goals?
At Hyundai, we have made education a major focus for our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy called Bright Ideas. By supporting innovative programs like MIND's ST Math, we believe that students will exceed expectations and become a new generation of leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These are areas of importance to Hyundai’s future success in the automotive industry.


Catch an inside glimpse of Hyundai's partnership with MIND Research Institute.

Q: The Hyundai/MIND partnership is very unique in its broad scope. Why was the partnership created this way?
We wanted to make sure that the investment Hyundai made was in fact a true partnership. By using the approach of matching grants and equal commitment, the schools are making an investment just as much as Hyundai and MIND are doing. There is now accountability amongst all partners for the successful implementation and utilization of the ST Math software. In the long term, we all have a shared commitment to see an increase in math proficiency and graduation rates.

Q: Hyundai’s brand tagline is “New Thinking. New Possibilities.” How has that translated in your relationship with MIND?
New Thinking New Possibilities is a guiding Brand principle that reflects Hyundai’s willingness to use innovation to create unique experiences. We are excited about our partnership with MIND Research and the early results we have seen. Any time you have two innovative companies working together for the betterment of society, we believe you will have a potential for great success.

MIND staff with JiJi VelosterMIND staff and Hyundai's Walter Rodriguez celebrate their partnership around the JiJi Veloster.

Q: What would you tell people or other organizations who are considering making a gift to MIND?
At Hyundai, we place great value on our partnerships and the ability to create value through our investments. From our experience in partnering with MIND the last three years, we have come to see that they have highly knowledgeable managers and extremely bright thought leaders. Most importantly, they are passionate and driven to fulfill their mission.

Q: What aspect of MIND’s mission is most important to you personally?
What most stands out to us about MIND Research’s mission is their goal for every student to become a life-long learner prepared to compete in a knowledge-based economy.

Follow updates about the partnership between Hyundai and MIND Research Institute at #HyundaiLovesJiJi.

Abby Daniels

About the Author

Abby Daniels was Director of Communications at MIND Research Institute, where she worked for over 10 years as the organization transformed from a small, local nonprofit to a national leader in education.

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