Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) is a New York-based organisation providing talented and motivated young people from underserved and underrepresented communities with access to educational and career opportunities.
SEO, bolstered by long-term funding and support from The Hg Foundation, launched SEO Tech Developer, a new program to address the technology diversity gap for Black, Latinx and Native American undergraduate students majoring in Computer Science and Engineering, and related STEM fields: www.seo-usa.org/career/tech/
In partnership with Codio, SEO has curated a customized curriculum that hones minority students’ existing tech skills. Centered on a team-based project approach, the program will provide sustained exposure to industry professionals, educators and recruiters to raise the percentage of minority students effectively competing for entry-level roles in the tech world.
Black, Latinx and Native American undergraduates regularly have their initial introduction to computer programming upon entering college, leaving them significantly behind their peers. SEO and the Foundation believe that their initiative will elevate the existing interest among minority Engineering and CS students while supplementing their technical education with the specific problem-solving skills they will need to meet the professional expectations of the industry at the entry-level recruitment stage.
“We recognize that an existing record of academic excellence, combined with an interest in tech, is not always enough to secure quality opportunities in this sector. SEO Tech Developer is a valuable, new program that helps to provide exposure for future professionals from underserved and underrepresented communities to sharpen their fluency in hard and soft skills required to break through in today’s workforce. The Hg Foundation is an organization that has very closely aligned goals and values to ours, so it’s incredibly powerful to have their support as we push this new, positive initiative in the USA.”Julian Johnson, Executive VP of SEO-USA
“Creating a level playing field for those wishing to position themselves effectively as candidates in the talent pools of major tech companies, lies at the core of The Hg Foundation. SEO has a strong track-record of supporting students who can be molded into interview-ready candidates within the fields of engineering and computer science, and across Wall Street and corporate America. We are proud to have linked arms with such an established and proven organization such as SEO, to better reflect America’s diversity within the workforce of an industry with an enormous relevance in today’s economy.”Gero Wittemann, The Hg Foundation Trustee and co-lead of Hg’s US office
The SEO Tech Developer sits within the umbrella of the SEO Career program. SEO Career has a 40-year track record of recruiting, training and providing unparalleled support for underrepresented college students around the nation to succeed in their summer internships.
The overall success of the program will be measured by a combination of progression and attainment metrics. Technical skills levels will be evaluated as students are selected and compared to their levels measured once the program is completed. Participation levels and attitudinal change will also be factored into the employment statistics for each cohort.
SEO was founded in 1963 with a mission to provide talented and motivated young people from underserved and underrepresented communities with access to educational and career opportunities. SEO’s four signature programs create an ecosystem of excellence. SEO Scholars – An eight-year academic program that successfully educates and mentors low-income public high school students in NYC and San Francisco to get to and through college – with a 90% college graduation rate. SEO Career – The nation’s premier pre-professional development and internship program for high-achieving Black, Hispanic and Native American college students who are underrepresented in the fields they seek. SEO Law – The nation’s only paid pre-law academic and fellowship program, creates a talent pipeline of pre-law students of color who enter elite global law firms. SEO Alternative Investments – Provides education, exposure, training and mentoring opportunities for talented individuals traditionally underrepresented in the alternative investments sector. www.seo-usa.org