LOS ANGELES, CA – Google.org announced today that the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), YWCA, and UnidosUS will receive a $5M grant over the next three years to increase Latino student access to computer science education. This grant is part of Google.org’s $25M commitment this year to help African American and Latino students develop the skills and confidence they need for the future and to help prepare them to succeed in the careers they pursue – including as Latino software engineers. HHF will receive $1M over the next three years as part of the overall grant to introduce and teach more than 100,000 Latino youth to code. To better support the growing Latino community, two of CS First’s most popular and introductory level coding activities will be localized into Spanish, which will be used by HHF as the curriculum for this effort.
“We are grateful to Google.org for their powerful investment in Latino youth who currently make up approximately one in four students in America and will certainly represent a large part of our workforce,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF. “It’s critical that our youth be exposed to and prepared for a workforce that is more and more dependent on tech skills. We’ve benefitted from Google’s leadership in the CS space since Google volunteers from HOLA, Google’s Latino employee resource group, helped launch the Code as a Second Language (CSL) initiative in 2013 in LA, and then provided the start-up grant for the program which has grown across the US. We are also thrilled to partner with the YWCA and UnidosUS under this Google.org grant to collectively leverage our strengths for maximum impact.”
By 2020 more than half of all jobs will require technical skills, but a majority of students still don’t learn coding in school. Google.org will work with UnidosUS, the YWCA, and HHF to bring CS First curriculum into communities, both in the classroom and after-school, reaching 1 million students by 2022. Google.org’s funding will also engage parents in these efforts, helping families to understand the significance of CS education for their child’s future, and expose students to role models to increase interest in CS. UnidosUS will receive $2M and the YWCA USA will receive a second $2M.
CS First is Google’s free introductory computer science curriculum for elementary and middle school students. Teachers introduce students to coding via videos across themes such as storytelling, art, music and fashion. Since launching in 2013, CS First has reached over 2 million students across 60+ countries around the world. Coding will also enable students to be creators, rather than just consumers, of technology
While black and Latino students have equal interest (Google, Gallup: 2016) in CS education, they don’t have equal access to learning opportunities and face social barriers to learning CS, such as a lack of role models, and learning materials that reflect their lived experiences.
- While black and Latino students have equal interest (Google, Gallup: 2016) in CS education, they don’t have equal access to learning opportunities and face social barriers to learning CS, such as a lack of role models, and learning materials that reflect their lived experiences.
- The lack of role models or a personal lack of confidence in learning computer science may be a barrier for Hispanic students—only 51% are “very confident” they could learn computer science, compared with 68% of black students and 56% of white students. (Google, Gallup: 2016)
- Hispanics constitute 16 percent of the U.S. workforce, but they make up only 6 percent of the U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce (National Science Foundation)
- By 2020 more than half of all jobs will require technical skills, but a majority of students still don’t learn these in school. Even now, millions of jobs are projected to go unfilled, and women and minorities are already drastically underrepresented in technical fields.