Targeted grants reflect push to ensure that Black talent is not squeezed out of the tech talent pipeline as COVID-19 shutters internships
SAN FRANCISCO (August 18, 2020) — CodePath.org, a nonprofit bridging the gap between colleges and employers to boost diversity in high tech jobs, today announced the launch of the Black Excellence Scholarship Fund, designed to help Black computer science students who have lost technical internships, jobs and work opportunities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent study, internship placements—which often level the playing field for underrepresented engineers—have already fallen by 49% compared to last year.
“This is a multigenerational issue. Even in the best economic times, Black engineers have to beat the odds to break-into tech careers,” said Michael Ellison, founder and CEO of CodePath. “The pandemic is now damaging the career prospects of an entire generation of Black, Latinx, low-income software engineers.”
The program will provide $5,000 grants to ten first-generation or low-income Black CodePath.org students. For four years, CodePath.org has matched historically underrepresented students with employers and recruiters, provided technical internship training to underserved students and offered free, industry-backed software engineering courses to 5,400 students across 150 colleges and universities nationwide. Forty-four percent of this year’s CodePath students are women or underrepresented minorities, while 65% first-generation college students.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must demonstrate the loss of (or difficulty finding) an internship due to COVID-19, be currently pursuing a computer science or software-related degree, and be enrolled in CodePath’s summer technical interview prep class.
Future CodePath scholarship opportunities will be announced later this fall. To learn more, click here.