PHOENIX (December 4, 2015) — The General Motors Foundation (GMF) and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), together with Tempe High School, are launching the Code as a Second Language (CSL) initiative, a program that teaches students about computer coding and technology fields. Students will be mentored by technology professionals during the eight-week program, which launches December 4 at the high school, 1730 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ, 85281.
The GM Foundation and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation executed the program at a Dallas high school in October and another will be announced in Austin soon. The program is taking place as part of GM’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. CSL instructors are young programmers who are a part of the HHF’s Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) Network. The initiative is active in approximately 50 schools, in more than 15 regions across the nation.
“Driving the CSL effort is the belief that all youth deserve access to technology-based programs and have an opportunity to enter the workforce in a stronger position, helping America move forward,” said Antonio Tijerino. “The General Motors Foundation shares that vision and we are grateful their leadership in preparing Latino youth to be innovators.”
There is a need to fill two million technology jobs over the next five years, yet 90 percent of schools don’t teach coding. The CSL program is designed to fill that gap. CSL is being implemented in up to 40 schools in 15 markets, including the GM effort.
“The partnership with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation is an investment in America’s next generation of scientists, engineers and change-makers,” said Grace Lieblein, vice president, GM Global Quality and GMF board member. “Hispanics represent an important facet of our business as the next generation of leaders and innovators.”
The CSL initiative is part of a September $1 million GM Foundation grant announcement to fund Hispanic education and STEM initiatives. These programs will help empower young Latinos to join the workforce of the future.
The CSL initiative includes:
- Identification of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in collaboration with schools
- A baseline survey of students’ knowledge to test progress throughout CSL course
- Guest speakers from the technology industry
- Engagement of private and public sector volunteers
- Eight sessions
- Hands-on assistance for students working on course material outside of class
- Soft skill development such as leadership and collaboration
- Work-based learning such as building actual products and presentation to peers
- Certifications upon completion
The students will also be referred to LOFT Network for ongoing on-line instruction and will connect to other students, mentors, networking, resources, STEM-related events, and later potential internships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies.
For decades, GM and its philanthropic foundation have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations across the country and around the world. These grants focus on advancing access to education through programs such as the Buick Achievers Scholarship, one of the largest programs of its kind in the country.
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 (Leaders 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.)
About the General Motors Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, the Environment and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit www.gm.com/gmfoundation.