Howard University Opens Google Campus To Encourage More Black Coders

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Google is opening Howard West on its campus in Moutain View, Calif. giving computer majors an opportunity to develop their skills in coding and get immersed in tech culture. The students between the ages of 25 and 30, juniors and seniors will get the opportunity to spend 12 weeks at Google this summer and receive instruction from Google engineers getting course credit for their studies.

If you remember Google over the years has had a huge diversity problem with hardly any African Americans on their payroll. With this program they are able to employ more students from historically black colleges and Universities.

Via USA Today

Eventually Google wants to expand the program to include other historically black colleges and universities, said Bonita Stewart, Google’s vice president of global partnerships, who has been working with Howard University President Dr. Wayne Frederick to develop the framework.

Stewart says when she joined Google a decade ago, there was little talk of diversity or making the tech industry more representative of the populations it serves. Today, this Howard graduate says Google is making a serious investment in building bridges.

“For us, it is an opportunity to ensure that we are building a pipeline and more importantly, stimulating the right partnerships to drive change,” Stewart told USA TODAY.

“I would like to see more Howard students and ultimately historically black colleges and universities students and underrepresented minorities being hired in the tech industry and participating in more start-ups,” Frederick said. “Exposure to that environment early will pay dividends on the back end.”

The Howard West program is an extension of the Google in Residence program, which embeds Google engineers on the campuses of Howard University and other historically black colleges and universities to teach courses and get students up to speed on critical skills rarely taught in the classroom, such as how to ace a software engineering job interview.

Some of the students in the program secure summer internships at Google. Last year Google hosted 50 technical summer interns from seven historically black universities and colleges. This summer, 62 interns from 10 schools have accepted offers.

This is awesome news for black children who want to break into the tech world with one of the most established and innovative companies on earth!

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