The telecommunications company Verizon has funded a program targeting 41 Black middle school boys that will help increase interest in the technology industry.
The Minority Male Makers program is a collaboration between Verizon, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Jackson State University and Kentucky State University to give seventh and eighth grade boys fresh insight into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs. These schools will provide mentors and faculty to teach the preteens a variety of skills such as coding, robotics, app design and development, 3D modeling, design and printing.
“We knew that we wanted a relationship with historically Black colleges and universities because it’s important that these kids are in an environment where they can see themselves and they can see success and they can see potential, and historically Black colleges and universities bring that and some,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, chief corporate responsibility officer for Verizon.
The program will take place during four weeks of the kid’s summer vacation over the course of two years. Many of the students were chosen from nine Baltimore area schools to feed into the program. Kirk plans to expand this program nationwide to include thousands of young Black males in order to educate youth in tech, inspire entrepreneurship, and create diversity in a field that desperately needs it.