Verizon, Hispanic Heritage Foundation and DC Council Member Brianne Nadeau Launch Code as a Second Language (CSL) Initiative at Cardozo High School

WASHINGTON, DC– Verizon, Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and DC-Ward 1 Council Member Brianne Nadeau will launch the Code as a Second Language (CSL) effort at Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus, 3rd floor lecture hall1200 Clifton St. NW, Washington, DC 20009, 11:20 AM, Friday, March 18.  High school students will be introduced to and taught computer coding over an eight-week period in coordination with the school while being exposed to tech professionals to serve as role models and mentors.

The CSL initiative is also under way at Springbrook High School in Maryland and the Arlington Career Center in Virginia, as part of Verizon's and HHF's commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. CSL instructors are young programmers who are in HHF’s LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) Network and receive stipends as CSL Fellows. CSL is currently in up to 20 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 which will help America move forward,” said Antonio Tijerino. “Verizon and Council Member Nadeau share that vision and we are grateful for their leadership preparing our youth to be innovators.”

 “This initiative will enrich the education of District students by training them in computer coding,” said Ward 1 DC Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau. “Each year, the District’s economy creates more and more jobs in technology, and it’s important to make sure that District students are positioned to join this fast-growing industry. I want to thank the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Verizon for bringing this program to the students at Cardozo.”

 Although there will be a need to fill nearly two million tech jobs by the next five years, 90 percent of schools in the U.S. do not teach coding.  The CSL initiative is designed to fil that gap.

 Mario Acosta-Velez, Verizon’s Director of State Government Affairs, said: “Verizon is proud to partner with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation to implement the Code as a Second Language program.   Our goal is to help build the students’ coding skills and increase their interest and engagement in STEM-related fields and careers.   We want to help prepare our future leaders for the 21st century by fostering collaboration among students, enhance their problem-solving skills and provide a solid introduction to STEM.”

 The CSL initiative includes: identification of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in collaboration with schools; 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 time; soft skill development such as leadership and collaboration; work-based learning such as building actual products and presentation to peers; and certifications upon completion. The students will also be funneled to the award-winning LOFT Network for ongoing on-line instruction and will be connected to other students, mentors, networking, resources, STEM-related events, and later, 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 including in technology. HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions. 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 (Visithttp://www.HispanicHeritage.org.)

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with 108.6 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide. A Dow 30 company with more than $127 billion in 2014 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 176,200. For more information, visit www.verizon.com/news/.