What We Do


Bright Minds supports programs, services, and ideas that make a difference in each student’s life. Key programs we have supported include:

Computers for Students

Bright Minds bridges the gap for the growing number of Howard County students who lack access to technology at home. The Foundation has worked with HCPSS to provide more than 1400 deserving students and their families with a laptop computer or tablet, along with flash drives, software, and training. Laptops have also been provided to students taking afterschool SAT preparation classes to help them prepare for and apply to college.

Teacher Grants

Bright Minds has provided grants to more than 40 HCPSS teachers and staff for innovative instructional projects that build students 21st century skills in areas such as health and wellness; finance, economics, business, and entrepreneurship; fine arts; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM; information and communications technology; and the humanities. Projects are selected annually and must support the Foundation principles of equity and equality, education innovation, and building skills for a lifetime.

Student Scholarships

Bright Minds provides and helps administers scholarships to deserving Howard County students. The Foundation serves as a grant making partner to families or organizations looking to set up dedicated scholarship funds which also meet our mission. Bright Minds has also named its own scholarship recipients to support higher education goals of disadvantaged students.

Advanced Technology

HCPSS high school students now benefit from the latest in virtual reality and augmented reality instruction thanks to a donation from Oculus VR co-founder and Atholton High School alumnus Brendan Iribe. The donation, facilitated by the Bright Minds Foundation, provided virtual reality learning opportunities for the Architectural Design and Visual Arts Academies at the HCPSS Applications and Research Laboratory (ARL). Students develop an in-depth understanding of emerging markets, making it easier for them to participate in internships and transition to the world of work.

JumpStart Dual Enrollment

HCPSS provides students dual enrollment options with Howard Community College (HCC) to give students a jump on their college education and prepare them for a career by earning industry certifications. Bright Minds ensures there are equal opportunity for students that may not otherwise be able to manage the cost of books and course fees.

Early Childhood Education

Bright Minds is piloting an early childhood literacy and school readiness program that provides newborn to 5-year-old incoming HCPSS students with one book a month to enhance their educational experiences and ensure they are better prepared for success at school. The program would be delivered in partnership with the Imagination Library book gifting program.