Thursday, January 22, 2015
New Program to Teach 100,000 Low-Income Kids to Write Code
There is no question that technology is where it's at today when it comes to careers. Technology, particularly computer science, is still dominated by white males. Van Jones, environmental advocate, civil rights activist, and attorney, and co-founder of four non-profit organizations including Rebuild the Dream, decided to do something about it. He created "Yes We Code", an initiative through his Rebuild the Dream organization, that will teach 100,000 low-income kids to write code.
Low-Income Youth Missing Out on High-Paying Careers
Young people who do not consider careers in technology are missing out on lucrative career paths, according to Jones. His idea with the Yes We Code program is to get more colleges, including tribal colleges, historically black colleges and universities, to include more young blacks in their talent pool for tech careers. Low-income kids have just as much of an opportunity as other kids. Jones explains, "Aptitude tests show one out of five kids of any color have an inherent aptitude for the kind of problem-solving that is required to be a computer programmer."
Whites Dominate High Technology Jobs
African Americans and Hispanics make up only 5 percent of the workforce in technology companies. Jones' new program is an attempt to encourage low-income families, educational institutions and communities redirect young people's talents to careers in technology. Tapping into talents among students from low-income communities, Native American reservations, Appalachia, housing projects, barrios, and ghettos will greatly improve their chances of getting into high-paying jobs in the technology sector.
For more information on the Yes We Code program, visit www.yeswecode.org