Our mission is to inspire the inner nerd to learn for Life through engaging hands-on learning activities, defining a NERD as anyone who desires to learn. Our NERD Life program aims to develop students socially, educationally, and financially through core four principals: Social Development, Leadership Development, Self-Care, and Financial Literacy.
The goal of the STEM Program is to provide participating students with an engaging, supportive environment to acquire skills that allow them to fully engage in STEM activities. The STEM program engages students and equips them with critical thinking, problem solving, creative and collaborative skills, and helps students understand and apply math and science content.
The program focuses on building reading confidence, revisiting foundational academic skills to build a strong base for our students, and supporting students with homework. Provides students with a positive atmosphere that encourages a sense of self-worth and achievement.
The Arts program offers opportunities for students to express themselves creatively through journalism, art, music, etc. while developing skills to encourage the production of creative media messages, encouraging students to express their feelings and thoughts through the arts.
Reading is important because it balances the application with theoretical concepts. The Book Club aims to increase students’ motivation to read, while increasing reading literacy skills through book readings and discussions. Students gain exposure to various topics and concepts through reading material discussion, while developing positive social interactions with their peers.
The Go Give Grow initiative provides our NERDS students with the opportunity to travel, participate in a service learning experience, and reflect on their experience. Aside from having the time of their life and gaining memories that last forever, there are a number of important advantages that students achieve from experiencing travel and service learning opportunities.
The Go Give Grow initiative aims to develop students in the following areas:
Exposure to the problems and perks of other lifestyles helps students see their world in a different way. Having a broad awareness of how other people live and what other cultures prioritize allows a student to think differently about their own lives.
Living and working for any amount of time in a culture that’s different from home can help prepare students for college. Overcoming challenges while traveling will help students grow confidence and prepare them for life’s obstacles.
Research has shown that travel increases gains in academic content knowledge. Traveling while young, of course while fun, is also an important investment to enhance a student’s academic performance in the future.
Cultural immersion through travel and service programs can also help break down language barriers and open new channels of lifelong communication. Exploring a new place opens doors to establish new friendships and relationships that never would have been acquired without traveling.
Tonkia Bridges (Coach Tee) is a passionate educator and N.E.R.D.S. founder. With a professional background in research and education, Coach Tee began working extensively in education starting in 2009. Her passion to nurture and develop students continued to grow, leading to the decision to develop an organization addressing the academic and social needs of students in her community. As a result, N.E.R.D.S. was launched in February 2018. Since the very beginning, Coach Tee’s vision for N.E.R.D.S. has been to inspire the inner nerd of young learners through fun and education with hands-on learning experiences that help students become life learners, future leaders, and compassionate caring members of their community. That vision is fulfilled in N.E.R.D.S. NERDLIFE program, providing students with various learning experience beyond the four walls of the classroom. A sports lover, avid reader, and a lover of learning and exploring new things, she is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with degrees in Chemical Engineering 03’, Chemical Technology 06’, and Educational Leadership 08’.
A survivor of triple negative breast cancer with a whole lot of life to live, Sharonda Washington is a holistic product designer turned engineer with over 15 yrs experience across two Fortune 500 companies. She is passionate about translating consumer needs into technical realities along with storytelling & targeted messaging to create business-changing content. As a holistic designer, she is responsible for implementing strategies that help businesses grow to realize their full potential through detailed strategic execution that increase brand relevance, awareness, and growth potential through trends and new innovation strategies. When she isn’t working, you’ll find Sharonda with her husband, and three children chasing soccer balls, traveling, and living life to the fullest!
A STEM focused program infused with creativity and literacy to provide a fun nurturing environment to grow and learn. NERDLIFE activities consist of STE(A)M, Book Club, Interactive Media, and academic enrichment.
Respect: We include others and embrace our differences.
Commitment: Dedicated to contributing positively to the team.
Teamwork: Teamwork makes the dream work.
Engaged: We actively participate.
Fun: We celebrate what we do.
STE(A)M Play Time
STEAM Projects (Neuroscience, Computer Science, Engineering)
Get in touch with N.E.R.D.S to learn more about our work and how you can get involved.