On October 6, 2011, Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ employees were given the day off to perform volunteer work in and around their Cambridge, Massachusetts headquarters in honor of their founder, Joshua Boger. The MAS was lucky enough to have made some connections with some Vertex employees at a meeting we held in June and offered them a meaningful volunteer experience in the Everett High School on their Day of Service.
Vertex employees arrived to the high school uncertain of what they’d be walking into, but you’d never have known it! All twelve of them remained calm and organized as they prepared their demonstrations for various high school science classrooms. Their plan was to perform a relatively brief experiment demonstrating the properties of acids and bases, and then to engage the students in the classrooms in a discussion of how they each found science as their passion and career and how Everett students could do the same. The students’ faces lit up as they learned the various paths that those from Vertex took to get where they were, and it was truly inspiring to hear how encouraged they felt after talking to them!
Everett High School hosted a catered lunch for selected students (some seventh grade students came to visit as well!) and the Vertex employees so that they could have some informal conversations about STEM and its many options. To the students’ surprise, they each received a super squishy brain toy and a purple foam finger (Vertex Pharmaceuticals was named the #1 Place to Work by Science Magazine in 2011!) to take home with them to remember the day’s events.
We are so thankful to the Vertex employees who chose to spend their Day of Service in Everett! The inspiration and excitement was buzzing through the science wing of the high school, and that visit has encouraged many Everett students to partake in ENGAGE Everett!, the MAS’s new initiative that provides students with mentors to help them with their research projects! We look forward to seeing them again soon!