Verizon Enlists Big Name Celebs to Get Kids Interested in Tech Careers

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Verizon's #WeNeedMore public service campaign highlights the importance of STEM careers.

Actress Zendaya is teaming up with Verizon on a new campaign called #WeNeedMore. Not only does the program provide free access to technology to help students learn, it also exposes them to some amazing STEM careers.

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STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and math - and there are millions of jobs available in those industries.

Courtesy Verizon

"I was very excited about it not only because it has to do with young people - which is a topic I'm passionate about - but because it has to do with kids in schools in underprivileged areas," Zendaya told Tech Smart at a recent taping of her new Verizon public service campaign in Hollywood.

"It essentially brings free technology access to hundreds of schools across the U.S., especially in schools that are underserved in rural communities," said Sanette Chao, communications manager at Verizon.

Students got to hang out with Zendaya at the legendary Capitol Records building and went hands-on with the pros in a studio recording session.

"Coming to this shoot I actually saw how the sound engineers do it and so I kind of have an interest in that now," said Priscila Pagaling, a student from San Diego.

"I got to see how fun it is just to play around with the vocals. I would always think it was serious," said Ivan Cruz, a Riverside student.

Zendaya has a close connection to the cause.

"Not only was I one of those kids, but my mom is a teacher and she taught in Oakland where I grew up and in a school that didn't have the funds or resources to bring tech into classrooms," explained the actress and singer.

The #WeNeedMore campaign drives home the idea that while stars get the glamor, it's the STEM professionals behind the scenes that help make them shine.

"There are over 4 million jobs in technology in the U.S. and a lot of the kids, especially in underserved communities, aren't aware that these are available," explained Chao.

"You can either be left behind or you can join the technology and use it for the positive things -  and that's what we’re doing here," concluded Zendaya.

The public service campaign will start to air in April - in addition to Zendaya you’ll also see big name athletes and models in the spots.

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