Bonnetta Adeeb is the founder and president of STEAM ONWARD Inc. a youth development non-profit organization in Southern Maryland. Ms. Adeeb, now retired from teaching was an educator for 37 years. She taught social studies and Career Research and Work-based Learning, a school-to-work educational program.
The mission of Steam Onward is to increase the number of minority and under-served youth pursuing higher education in STEM related fields, in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The “A” in Steam Onward is a reminder that the arts also utilize science and technology. Steam Onward achieves our mission by providing youth in Charles County and Prince George's County, Maryland with after-school hands-on experiential learning opportunities in five program areas:
- STEM career explorations,
- Internships in health and law,
- STEM field trips,
- Youth leadership development, and
- STEM action programs
The youth in Steam Onward, the driving force of the organization, refer to themselves as the Young Researchers Community Project (YRCP). Their motto is: We Could Have Cared Less, But We Decided to Care More. Ms. Adeeb has obtained funding to create community demonstration vegetable, healing and rain gardens, restorations projects, and an orchard on the campus of a local high school in Waldorf, Maryland and at other locations. The purpose of the demonstration gardens is to educate both youth and community residents that gardening and environmental stewardship are both necessary and easy to create. YRCP members demonstrate that community gardens and other gardens can both produce food, and contribute to storm water management.
Three years ago YRCP members developed a Chesapeake Bay regional initiative called “NATURE’S KNIGHTS” to advocate for environmental justice, and promote individual stewardship by using community science tools, and action in the areas of food sustainability and water quality including oyster gardening. They are mobilizing youth, school, church and community based organizations as well as the Partnership for a Healthier in our area to take immediate action to solve these community challenges. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we will launch an Urban Farm and Native Tree Nursery that will be a learning center for citizen science, and gardening and tree planting. It will supply native fruit and nut trees, berries, native plants for restoration projects and healing vegetables and herbs for improving the Wellness and Food Sustainability of the southern Maryland community. With hundreds of homeless and food insecure citizens our youth are challenging the community to take action.
Coming from an activist minister's family, Bonnetta Adeeb has continued that heritage of farming and legacy of community service. She has fought for education that empowers all ethnicities, women, the poor, and underserved.