Freescale to give marathon proceeds to help STEM nonprofit

Freescale Foundation will donate all proceeds from the 2015 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon to support education nonprofit First in Texas Foundation, the groups announced in mid-November.



"This partnership, for us, means that we're going to raise awareness of robotics," First Director Jessica Galfas said.



Managed by workforce development group Skillpoint Alliance, First funds, trains and supports robotics programs for students statewide. First focuses on increasing accessiblity for low-income and underrepresented students, according to the nonprofit.



First's programs reached 4,180 students in Texas in 2013 by creating the opportunity to compete in state and national robotics competitions, according to a news release.



Galfas said that by fundraising or running in the marathon, participants help increase First's programs' reach across the state.



Founded by Freescale Semiconductor in 2013, Freescale Foundation promotes programs and initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, and encourages students to pursue STEM-related areas of study at the college level, according to Freescale.



Rick Morales, Freescale director of community relations, said the foundation selected First out of a desire to make a difference locally.



"If you are going to [promote] robotics, you have to go with First," he said.



Prior to the Feb. 15 marathon Freescale Foundation will showcase local robotics teams.



"On race day, we will have robots in the race," Morales said. "[Throughout the event] we will be trying to raise awareness of the need for the talent in these skills."

By Joe Olivieri
Joe covered Southwest Austin news for Community Impact Newspaper from January 2011 to April 2015. His reporting focused on new businesses, development, transportation, industry and Travis County issues. He was named the paper's managing editor in April 2015. Joe hails from New Jersey.


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