Yvonne Boice returned to the 6th annual STEAM event to benefit Palm Beach State College.
Last year, Yvonne did her famous 'mic' drop at the event featuring rapper Pitbull, saying farewell to her 5 years as the event chair. But she was 'reeled' in to once again chair the 2018 event featuring Guy Harvey.
Yvonne transformed the ballroom at the Kravis Center into a deep sea adventure. Guests were overwhelmed by the astonishing designs that decorated each wall, the stunning table decor and the enchanting chocolate porpoise desserts. Phones were snapping pictures at a frantic rate as everyone tried to capture the incredible ambiance.
During her speech, Yvonne joked about being 'lured' back to the STEAM event, but in all seriousness she addressed the critical importance of supporting this initiative, which raises funds for students at Palm Beach State College.
Yvonne promised to return again and again like the tides and the audience cheered her on!
Grammy Winner Pitbull Heats Up STEAM Fundraising Luncheon
Yvonne Boice Recaps Five Years of Scholarship Events
The Kravis Center’s ballroom was filled to capacity for Palm Beach State College Foundation’s 2017 STEAM Initiative Luncheon. Mr. Worldwide, Grammy Award winner Pitbull, took the stage not to rap, but to talk about his life, his mentors and his numerous endeavors supporting education and the arts. Yvonne Boice, the event chair, who added the ‘A for Arts’ to the Initiative, celebrated her fifth and final year with a humorous and thoughtful reflection about the past scholarship fundraisers.
Boice opened the festivities with a fun-filled challenge to Pitbull for a rap battle over the “Worldwide” moniker. “I have been to 160 countries, so I think the title should be mine,” joked Boice. She then went on to recap some of the highlights of the past five years including the many wonderful speakers including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, actor John Lithgow, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and race car driver Danika Patrick.
While this was Boice’s final time chairing the event, her impact will endure as she has created an endowment that will continue to fund STEAM scholarships. Boice embarked on this journey to help the college’s students become better prepared for demanding jobs in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math realm. Boice only agreed to take on the important task however, if the board agreed to add in the Arts as she felt they were equally critical to producing well-educated graduates.
Pitbull spoke eloquently about the nexus between arts and the rest of the STEM disciplines during his speech which encompassed conversations about his pivotal involvement with both the SLAM! Charter schools and eMerge Americas, a conference for high tech firms.
Foundation created the STEAM initiative to impact the projected shortage of local, skilled professionals in the STEAM fields. The Initiative has increased student scholarships, business partnerships, internships and other academic program enhancements to prepare more graduates for these high-wage, high-demand positions.
The February 2016, STEAM Event, Yvonne Boice announced that the Boice Family Foundation will be donating an endowment of $150,000 for scholarships to Palm Beach State College for women to study STEAM Disciplines.
“Lack of funding should never stop a woman from receiving the kind of education that can change lives for generations,” she said. “These scholarships will ensure that women who would have given up on college or had to struggle between work and a full time, will now be able to eliminate the worry of funding their classes and simply concentrate on excelling in them."
Watch Yvonne discuss The STEAM event:
Under the News Section you can view a video of Yvonne’s speech, and below is more information about the history of STEAM.
When the Palm Beach State College Foundation was launching a new STEM program, it was only natural that they wanted Boca Raton business and philanthropic leader Yvonne Boice—known for glitzy and highly effective fundraising events—to take a leading role.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math—courses of study colleges are stressing to prepare students for high-paying jobs. Boice originally turned them down, however. It had to do with a missing A.
“When I said no, they said ‘Why not?’ I said ‘You have to add an A—for the arts—and make it STEAM,” said Boice, whose belief in the civilizing power of the arts is legendary. “Education and the arts are my great loves.”
So Palm Beach State College’s STEM Initiative became the STEAM Initiative, and Boice, as is her habit, threw herself into raising money for the program, which awards scholarships in the designated fields of study. Pulling out the stops, Boice arranged for Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to be guest of honor at a first fundraising lunch that was held at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and which
Ms. Boice chaired the STEAM Initiative’s second fundraising lunch, which showcased the actor John Lithgow as keynote speaker, earlier this year. “Lithgow is passionate about the role creativity and the arts can play in expanding the traditional approach to education, literacy and life,” Boice said.
In 2015, Boice is once again reaching for the stars, by having Neil Tyson de Grasse, Director of the Hayden Planetarium speak at the STEAM fundraising event. The legendary astrophysicist is the voice of TV show Cosmos and has over 2 million Twitter followers.
And in 2016, she welcomed NASCAR driver, Danica Patrick, who shared stories about her fast-paced career, trailblazing for women in the sport and ever-advancing tech skills required to be part of a successful motorsport team.