ArmyEdSpace Spotlight

Terri Stripling, President and CEO, Ten80 Education

Terri Stripling
Saratoga Springs, New York
President and CEO, Ten80 Education

Terri Stripling’s international experience as a chemical process and project engineer is today being applied to enhancing our national approach to youth education, specifically to how we cultivate critical thinking and analysis skills in all students through the renewed focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). As owner, president and CEO of Ten80 Education, Terri has recently negotiated partnerships with the U.S. Army, NASCAR and technology companies in support of a national education program called the Ten80 Student Racing Challenge which provides a practice league and support system for future professionals.

How did you become involved with the Army?
Some of Ten80’s partners from the professional motorsports world saw a direct connection between the Army’s Strength for the Future Campaign and Ten80’s core mission to educate on difficult but important concepts through sports, competition, business and other things that actually motivate most youth. My partners and I immediately saw a whole list of reasons why Ten80 and the Army were a great match. These colleagues facilitated a meeting between me, my partners and Accessions Command while we were all at the Daytona 500 season opener. There was a personal connection made at that first meeting that since then has underpinned the professional alignment of missions to serve youth and America. 

How has your partnership with the Army made a difference to your organization?
The first is that the message our team at Ten80 believes in (and that data proves an important message to deliver) is being delivered to more students and educators than would be possible without the Army partnership. Students are directly sponsored by the Army, so that is one reason for this, but another is the personal challenge the Army has posed to our team. That challenge is to grow the number of students we impact and to continue developing the educational technologies at the center of our program. The Army is not the only partner driving that growth, but the technology used by the military is an inspiration to Ten80’s team when envisioning and planning the future for Ten80 and STEM education.

The second is the fact that supporters and partners of the military essentially make up a huge and tight network. Through experiences like attending the Army All American Bowl, I’ve met other people and organizations in that network and have been able to make new partnerships that help both the Army and Ten80. For example, Medgar Evers College hosted a Ten80 event in Brooklyn – I met their athletic director at AAB.

Also, connecting youth with their local Army partners drives those students to stand a little taller, square their shoulders and work “on task.” Our Soldier neighbors and friends are incredible mentors.

What were you surprised to learn about the Army through your involvement?
How very different every battalion we work with really is; and yet, how close and connected each member across this country really can be. Sergeant Alicia Clark was one of the local battalion members who mentored students at the Boston STEM Expo hosted by SolidWorks in Fall 2013. She was INCREDBILE with the students and motivated them in so many ways. She was the perfect mentor and Army representative in that environment. She was transferred to San Diego shortly after that event and when word made it through to that battalion that a Ten80 STEM Expo was scheduled for San Diego, she found my phone number and gave me a call. She went around to her colleagues and gathered an energetic, motivated team that she trained in advance to mentor students at that event. I saw a tiny glimpse of how beautiful it is to be part of the “Army community.”

What has been your most interesting or memorable experience or interaction with the U.S. Army?
While at my first All American Bowl (2012), the Golden Knights jumped out of an airplane with me. That experience will stick with me for the rest of my life! I loved it, and I loved that team of people. 

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