by Ruby Cimmarusti

It isn’t very often that 13-year-olds get excited about the idea of analyzing data. But when has our team at AMEND ever turned down a challenge? Last Wednesday, students from Breakthrough Cincinnati were welcomed to AMEND for an afternoon of data analytics – AMEND style.

With a combination of awesome technology, inspirational speakers, and some fired up AMEND team members, we were able to plan the perfect platform for telling incoming high schoolers about the endless possibilities that their futures hold (with lunch provided, of course).

A shared goal of changing lives.

Breakthrough Cincinnati is a local organization that believes in the power of young people. They provide a summer learning program for high-need and high-potential students grade six through nine, with a goal of energizing students to enter college with confidence. Students attend six-week sessions for four consecutive summers, and they’re exposed to college preparation courses, cultural enrichment, and leadership training

Breakthrough Cincinnati students taking part in the data analytics activity

Our AMEND team members led the students in an activity where they were broken up into four teams. Each team was given cotton balls and a tablet with an Excel file displayed. They were told to aim the cotton balls at bowls placed in front of them and keep track of how many they made. After multiple rounds, the Excel file tracked their improvements and displayed the data in a graph. We wanted to show the students how to use data analytics in a practical, fun way.

This was AMEND’s second summer leading a session with Breakthrough Cincinnati. This year, the theme was “Leadership in Technology,” with a goal of encouraging the students to consider interests and careers that they may not have exposure to normally. 

Mark Blankenbeuhler – Controller at AMEND

A passionate, dedicated team.

AMEND began planning the Breakthrough event in April of this year after receiving feedback on last year’s session. Courtney Tomasetti, our Business Services Manager, played a huge role in the preparations. “Most people don’t even know what management consulting is. We want to give these kids an opportunity to see and think about a career path with a practical application of what they learn in their high school classes.”

Small companies normally have a difficult time dedicating time to improving the community. At AMEND, it’s part of our mission. In addition to a regular workload from clients, our team spent months planning the event and put aside an entire day at the office to welcome in the Breakthrough program.

Kelsey Sucher – Analyst at AMEND

Donned in superhero t-shirts, AMEND team members spoke to the students about their leadership “superpowers,” or their unique strengths that led them to where they are today. Kelsey Sucher, one of our analysts, stood up and spoke about her journey through high school and college. In the span of three years, she changed her major five times while trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life.

“Changing what you’re doing, especially if it’s not what’s expected of you, can be scary,” Sucher noted. “I wanted to show them the importance of chasing what you want to do, taking risks, being a leader.” In her talk, she encouraged the kids to have the desire to explore their interests and pursue what they are passionate about, no matter the obstacles. “If I hadn’t taken all of those risks, I wouldn’t be here at AMEND doing what I love.”

“Leadership is doing the best for you and who you’re leading, not just taking the easy way out.”

Kelsey Sucher, Analyst
DeAndre Williams – Breakthrough Cincinnati

DeAndre Williams, the program’s Dean of Upper Education, also attended our event. “This kind of thing is amazing. It gives the kids perspective, and it makes them realize that there are a lot of career options that aren’t typically what they consider. We had a fantastic experience with AMEND last year, and the kids seemed to have enjoyed it very much this year.”

AMEND’s work with Breakthrough Cincinnati has been a joy to everyone involved, and we hope that our impact can continue to be made in upcoming years. 

At AMEND, many of our team members are directly involved with the nonprofit community in Cincinnati. We think it’s extremely important for us to put time into making our community better, and we’d love for you to get involved as well.

Connect with us to learn more about unique opportunities for your business to change lives in the local area.

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