Infosys Foundation USA today announced numerous grants to extend its on-going efforts to reduce the digital divide in America by helping underrepresented populations gain greater access to computer science education. The Foundation will commemorate Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) with multiple grants to support events across nine states with participation expected from more than 700 students.
The events are free workshops focused on inspiring and empowering underrepresented students and minorities, young adults and educators across the U.S. to become creators of technology, not just consumers. Among the diverse groups that will participate are students living in rural or inner-city environments, students with autism, and minority students including Black, Hispanic, and Native American.
“The future is being written in code. In a world that is increasingly being reshaped by digital technology, computing skills are becoming as foundational as science and language arts, no matter what career a child decides to pursue,” said Vandana Sikka, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation USA. “By continuing to support learning events like these, as well as helping teachers with high quality training, research, curriculum and standards, the Foundation is working to ensure that every child in the U.S. has the opportunity to learn these computing skills, regardless of their circumstances.”
The following organizations are receiving grants to host free CS-focused workshops in various cities and states throughout CSEdWeek and the weeks following:
· American Indian Science and Engineering Society: Focuses on substantially increasing the representation of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations and other indigenous peoples of North America in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers [South Dakota].
· Computer Technologies Program: Prepares people living with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities for professional employment by providing technical training, coaching and associated services [Berkeley, CA].
· Digital Nest: Provides youth and young adults ages 12-24 in Watsonville, Calif. and the surrounding agricultural community with free access to computers, software, WiFi, and a full range of state-of-the-art digital tools and classes [Watsonville and Salinas, CA].
· Girl Develop It: A nonprofit organization that provides affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. Through in-person classes and community support, Girl Develop It helps women of diverse backgrounds achieve their technology goals and build confidence in their careers and their everyday lives [Seattle, WA].
· Hispanic Heritage Foundation: Identifies, inspires, prepares and positions Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns [Chicago, IL; Charlotte, NC].
· Level Playing Field Institute: A nonprofit organization committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement and benefit of all [Atlanta, GA].
· Tech Kids Unlimited: opens up the field of technology to students with special needs and learning disabilities to help them become the technologists of tomorrow. Their work-based learning programs empower and inspire youth, ages 7-19, to learn, create, and share the tools of tech while learning computational thinking [New York, NY]
· Texas Girls Collaborative Project: Connects nonprofits, K-12 schools, higher education institutions, companies, organizations and individuals across the state of Texas committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics [Houston, TX].
· Yes We Code: A Dream Corps initiative that works with partners to help connect hundreds of thousands underrepresented minorities with careers in technology. #YesWeCode accelerates access to training in high-demand technical and non-technical skills to prepare untapped talent to enter the tech-fueled economy [Detroit, MI].
Along with its sponsorship of these programs, Infosys Foundation USA will also be renewing its partnership with Code.org, providing financial support as well as extensive resources, professional development training and social outreach programs for educators across the country.
Speaking on the partnership, Hadi Partovi, Chief Executive Officer, Code.org said, “The work we’ve accomplished at Code.org wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of the Infosys Foundation. Thanks to their support, millions of students have been introduced to rigorous computer science, and thousands of schools are changing curriculum to embrace this 21st century field.”