Building STEPS Receives Educational Grant From Blue Planet

BALTIMORE, MD – Building STEPS is pleased to announce it has received an educational grant from Blue Planet, a division of Ciena, to provide recent high school graduates with technology and support crucial to college success. Through this grant, every student will start college with a laptop computer, a subscription to online tutoring, and $100 toward school supplies. Blue Planet will continue supporting Building STEPS high school students through STEM engagement and direct academic and professional development advice.

Ninety-two percent of Building STEPS students attend college on full or partial financial aid and scholarship. Proper technology, which almost all colleges require and every student needs, is often beyond budgeted schools’ expenses. This grant levels the playing field for Building STEPS students, providing them with quality technology, connectivity, and supplemental academic support.

“By equipping students with laptops, online academic support, and school supplies, Blue Planet is making a world of difference to our students and helps them thrive in today’s fast-paced academic environment,” said David Lockhart, Building STEPS Board Chair.

Blue Planet’s Vice President of Finance and Business Operations Beth Dolce said, “With many gaps today in academic and technology tools and support, our digital inclusion program is committed to providing resources for under-resourced students in our communities. Together with Building STEPS, we are expanding connectivity opportunities and inspiring students to realize their academic pursuits.”

About Building STEPS

Building STEPS is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit built on one simple principle; a college education changes a person’s life. Building STEPS equips Baltimore’s bright students with the tools to propel them to college and career success. Multiyear programming offers STEM exposure and immersion, links professional opportunity to education, and ensures students earn a college degree as the first step in reaching their newfound STEM career goals. Nearly 80 percent of Building STEPS graduates earn a college degree and almost all are the first to do so in their family.

Ciena’s Digital Inclusion Program

Ciena’s Digital Inclusion program aims to mobilize the company’s global workforce, leverage its innovation leadership, and collaborate with customers, suppliers and other partners to bridge the digital divide. Ciena has committed to fund $10 million (USD) over a five-year period on programming that promotes digital inclusion through greater connectivity, access to technology and digital skilling, with a goal of expanding opportunities for 100,000 underserved students in our global communities.

About Blue Planet

Blue Planet provides proven software solutions that accelerate digital transformation by automating the services management lifecycle. Our intelligent automation product portfolio spans orchestration, order management, inventory, assurance, and analytics, with deployments at more than 200 customers worldwide. Backed by a global team of delivery specialists and a broad ecosystem of partners, Blue Planet is a division of Ciena that combines expertise across IT, network, and business operations to enable the agility necessary for creating differentiated end-customer experiences. For updates on Blue Planet, visit

Note to Ciena Investors

You are encouraged to review the Investors Section of our website, where we routinely post press releases, SEC filings, recent news, financial results, and other announcements. From time to time we exclusively post material information to this website along with other disclosure channels that we use. This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that are based on our current expectations, forecasts, information and assumptions. These statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those stated or implied, because of risks and uncertainties, including those detailed in our most recent annual and quarterly reports filed with the SEC. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies and can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “should,” “will,” and “would” or similar words. Ciena assumes no obligation to update the information included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.