WASHINGTON, DC – The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and partners completed the Code as a Second Language (CSL) course in 10 markets at middle and high schools and with the Kid Museum for K-6 in an effort to engage, introduce and teach computer coding to Latino students. HHF and corporate partners presented the students with certificates of completion during the final class and coordinated visits to corporate offices including Google’s to further encourage tech as a career path. This summer in partnership with Saber es Poder, CSL is being taught at the Mexican Consulate in San Jose as a pilot to be expanded to other consulates across the US in an effort to teach immigrants how to code from the time they arrive. In the fall, CSL will be in up to 30 schools in Los Angeles. To learn more about CSL or to request CSL come to a school or community, visit www.loftcsl.org. The site is being powered by Spokeo, a people search website based in Pasadena.
The CSL website will also serve as a call to action for technology professionals who are passionate about using their talent to fill America's need for creating a more diverse pool of talent in the technology industry. Technology professionals will be able to sign up directly on the site and will be contacted about local opportunities. The CSL site will also provide the opportunity for schools who are interested in bringing CSL to their school to sign up for the initiative, which is especially important when 9 of 10 schools do not teach computer programming. It is through the CSL site that we will be able to create a more intentional and strategic connection between technology professionals and schools across the nation and create a more diverse pool of talent for the technology industry.
“We are excited to partner with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) in the development of the Code as a Second Language (CSL) website,” said Harrison Tang, CEO of Spokeo. “We are committed to supporting efforts that provide opportunities for youth in technology. It is through collaborative partnerships that we can begin to introduce youth of diverse backgrounds to the integral technology skills that they are sure to need later in life. We look forward to helping inspire future computer engineers through CSL.”
“In order to provide America with a value proposition through Latino youth, we need to work backwards from what America needs most,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF. “Today and in the future, the need is the STEM fields and especially in technology, yet only one out of 10 schools teaches computer coding. We believe the next great innovator will be a Latino or Latina, perhaps sitting in the classrooms we are teaching across the country. We are always trying to get creative in moving providing our community but moreover our country with a stronger workforce and more innovative minds going forward.”
As of today, there are 500,000 vacant tech jobs in the US with an additional need to fill 1.4 million more tech jobs in the next five years and only 400,000 computer science majors currently in college. Yet 90 percent of schools teach computer science.
The CSL concept is that in order to thrive in America’s workforce, Latinos need to learn the language of code the way they learned English. CSL instructors, or CSL Fellows, are members of HHF’s Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) Network and “eco-system” of talent. CSL effort included: identification of key performance indicators (KPIs) in collaboration with school; baseline survey of students knowledge to test progress throughout CSL course; guest speakers from tech industry; engagement of private and public sector volunteers; eight, 1-2-hour sessions depending on school schedule; hands-on assistance for students working on course material outside of class time; soft skill development such as leadership and collaboration; work-based learning such as building actual products and present them to peers; and certifications upon completion. The students will also be funneled to the LOFTnetwork.org for ongoing on-line instruction and connected to other students, mentors, networking, resources, STEM-related events, and later potential internships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies.
About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation inspires, prepares, positions and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions. HHF’s award-winning LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) leadership and workforce development program is divided into 10 “Tracks,” or fields including Innovation & Technology, Science, Healthcare, Engineering, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Education, Public Service, Media & Entertainment, and Latinas. HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has offices in Los Angeles, Miami, New York and the LOFT Institute is housed at Michigan State University (Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org.)
Spokeo is a leading people search service using proprietary technology to organize public information into comprehensive yet easy-to-understand online profiles. Based in Pasadena, Spokeo makes it easier than ever to help reunite friends and family, browse celebrities, and discover information about your online footprint, by simply searching a name, address, email, phone or username. For more information about Spokeo, visit www.spokeo.com or follow @spokeo on Twitter.
Contact: Alberto Avalos, Alberto@LOFTinstitute.org, 323.397.9862