“Coding Our Future LA,” a groundbreaking collaboration between leaders in tech education, philanthropy and the Los Angeles community, will provide free, week-long STEM camps this summer for 200 students from the South LA community. With a desire to increase opportunities for underserved youth in the technology space, “Coding Our Future LA” was created by iD Tech and Annenberg Foundation, whose initiative AnnenbergTech has been focused on providing access to tech opportunities for ALL Angelenos, and was facilitated by the LA-based Digital Ethos Foundation. The Foundation and iD Tech will provide tuition for participants. LA Promise Fund is the community partner and will recruit students from five LA Promise Fund schools in the Los Angeles area. Students will attend iD Tech Camps at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) and Loyola Marymount Universitycampuses from June 17 – June 21.
“Coding Our Future LA” is aimed at addressing the massive and growing tech disparity present in society. STEM jobs in the United States are plentiful and lucrative and can be a ladder to professional prosperity and success. However, obtaining these positions typically requires specialized training and education, the sort of which may not be easily accessible. Eighty percent of the region’s future workforce is Latino and African American, yet only seven percent and eight percent of the national STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce is African American and Latino, respectively.
The 200 students participating in “Coding Our Future LA” were identified and recruited through the LA Promise Fund, and specifically, through its relationships with schools in South LA, where it has a deep and longstanding commitment to preparing students for success in college, career, and life. Students will be enrolled in week-long courses on subjects including digital video production, robotics, cybersecurity, and Java coding. Providing funding for all of the students to attend tuition-free was a priority for the Annenberg Foundation, who through its AnnenbergTech initiative, recognize that a partnership between technology and philanthropy has the potential to profoundly benefit the entire city of Los Angeles.
“Los Angeles is a global tech capital — a place where dreamers come to innovate and create,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our tech talent should reflect Los Angeles’ diversity, and Coding Our Future LA is helping to equip underrepresented young Angelenos with the tools and skills needed to compete in a tech-enabled economy.”
“We have a collective, societal obligation to every student to equip them with the necessary tools and skills to succeed in the modern, tech-driven economy,” said Pete Ingram-Cauchi, CEO, iD Tech Camps. “We have long been committed to ensuring that every student has access to quality STEM education, and we are honored to work with Annenberg Foundation in pursuit of this goal. Bringing top-notch STEM instruction to these 200 students is just the beginning of what we can achieve together.”
“The Annenberg Foundation has long supported organizations that provide access to the knowledge and networks required for upward mobility and jobs,” said Cinny Kennard, Executive Director of the Annenberg Foundation. “Our AnnenbergTech initiative coordinates efforts between technology and business leaders, investors, nonprofits and the city of Los Angeles to positively impact underserved communities throughout the region. Helping create “Coding Our Future LA” and supporting South LA student attendance is an important step in giving young people the full stack of skills needed to engage and accelerate their future careers in tech.”
“The LA Promise Fund is deeply committed to bringing STEM opportunities to underserved students across LA,” said Veronica Melvin, CEO, LA Promise Fund. “The future of the global economy will be driven by careers in STEM related fields, yet there continues to be a significant under-representation of minorities in those fields. We’re thrilled to be partnering with iD Tech and the Annenberg Foundation to give South LA students the chance to engage deeply with STEM.”
Coding Our Future LA aims to create an ecosystem for sustained success. According to the US Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, early engagement with STEM topics is critical in developing a lifelong proficiency and interest not only in technical subjects, but in a variety of subjects. Early, quality STEM instruction can help set students up for future academic and professional success.
SOURCE iD Tech Camps; The Annenberg Foundation; LA Promise Fund