For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC (3/25/23) — The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) will honor Raelene Sanders for her work in removing barriers to equal opportunity in education and the workforce when the organization holds its annual National Summit for Educational Equity, April 17-20, at the Capitol Hilton in Washington, DC,
Raelene is the daughter of a union -painter and stay at home mother. As a child, she was encouraged to “step out of the box.” Her grandfather encouraged her and Raelene was taking wagons apart and putting them back together in her grandfather’s garage when she was small. When she was in high school, Raelene’s mother encouraged her to take a typing class – a sure guarantee of a secretarial job to make a living. Raelene took the class, and in the long term it led her to an Electronic Certificate and being hired by Boeing to work on Minuteman Missiles as an Electronic Technician. While there, Raelene became engaged with the Boeing Employees Good Neighbor Fund where she sat on the Board. Learning about the needs of children and education, she represented Boeing and donated/volunteered to community nonprofits. Her passion for helping grew as she volunteered with Junior Achievement – the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students in grades K-12 about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy through experiential hands-on programs.
Eventually she also earned an AS in Business Administration, a BA in Business Administration, and an MBA awarded in 2023. Her career has been in the world of Technology. Raelene thrived on finding ways to “give back,” and ultimately this led to her return to college to earn a BA in Business Administration, and an eventual switching her career from Boeing to Microsoft. Her career expanded and so did her commitment to volunteering in the community. This included the ether District Advisory Board for Technology, the PTA (where she donated software and time to build out the local network for children to learn about the worldwide network.
Recognizing that she was a woman in a man’s field, she became a mentor to other women interested in technology. She also sat on the Board of Washington State Future Business Leaders of America – the largest business Career and Technical student organization in the world.
Eventually Raelene also became very involved with IGNITE, an organization focused on assisting teachers to promote STEM education and career advancement for girls and nonbinary youth from historically marginalized communities. She won an award from IGNITE for Programs and Practices that work in 2005. That same year, she was invited to serve on the NAPE Education Foundation Board, which she considered an honor. During her years on the Board, she traveled with CEO Mimi Lufkin to Niu Eros conferences all over the US telling her story about her career and how IGNITE has changed the world for young women.
In 2016, Raelene left Microsoft and has continued to contract with outs corporations regarding outreach to young women from the world of technology and how best to reach and work with them.
As a member of the NAPE EF Board, Raelene played a very specific role in supporting NAPE, the membership organization, with its annual Silent Auction, often coordinating the planning and event itself, and always contributing multiple technology items to raise money to support the work that the NAPE membership organization does. Her commitment was constant when it came to both NAPE and the NAPE EF.
Raelene’s personal history and the investment she has chosen to make in programs designed to help children, especially those from underrepresented groups, see themselves capable of being successful in the fields of technology, demonstrates that she indeed merits the NAPE Lifetime Achievement Award.
“We are very proud to honor Raelene, a pioneer in removing the barriers to equal opportunity in the classroom and the workplace, while advancing the recruitment, academic performance, and program completion of women and underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” says NAPE Chief Executive Officer, Brittany Brady.
The awards will be presented during the luncheon program on Tuesday, April 18th during the National Summit for Educational Equity to an audience of over 200 guests in Washington, DC at the Capital Hilton.
Participants also can attend workshop sessions on a wide range of equity topics – from increasing the participation of women in STEM careers, to implementing best practices for ensuring the success of special population students, to creating pathways out of poverty – led by top researchers and practitioners in the field.
Educators, professionals and equity advocates can register at napesummit.org or obtain more information about the NAPE Professional Development Institute by visiting www.napequity.org.
The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) is a consortium of state and local agencies, corporations, and national organizations committed to the advancement of equity and diversity in classrooms and workplaces.