A non-profit organization designed to increase racial representation in STEM and encourage young boys of color to pursue careers in the field just received a major financial boost to push their mission forward. All Star Code raised over $1 million to fund its summer STEM training program, Black Enterprise reported.
As part of the program, which is in its fifth year, participants take a free six-week course that covers everything from basic computer science to web development and game design, the news outlet writes. The program, which is held in New York City and Pittsburgh, has a goal of educating 10,000 young men of color in tech and entrepreneurship over the next four years. The organization has joined forces with companies that include AT&T, Google, JP Morgan Chase, and Medidata so that program participants can receive mentorship from senior leaders within these corporations as well as take advantage of potential career pathways into these companies.
“All Star Code’s impact continues to spread as we establish a pipeline of talented and ambitious young entrepreneurs who are ready to enter the tech industry,” said the organization’s founder Christina Lewis in a statement, according to Black Enterprise. “Tech is one of the most influential and lucrative industries, so it’s vital that Black and Latino young men are better represented in this space to capture its economic opportunity.” Nearly half of the program’s graduates go on to launch their own businesses in the realm of tech and 95 percent of the participants go on to pursue their degrees.
Several programs have been created to provide STEM education for Black and Latino youth. Howard University recently joined the Verizon Innovative Learning Program to provide workshops that cover science, technology, engineering and math for young boys of color in the Washington, D.C. area.