PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The tech industry has been under fire for the lack of diversity in their workforce, which is made up predominantly of whites, males and Asians. Now, a local youth coding nonprofit has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help prepare more kids for positions in the tech industry.
Coded by Kids is an organization that focuses on providing free tech education programs to inner city kids.
The youth coding nonprofit just turned three years old and has launched a crowdfunding campaign. If successful, Executive Director Sylvester Mobley says they will be able to serve triple the amount of children involved in its programs.
“For high quality tech education, many schools lack the funding, so the only way most kids in the city of Philadelphia can get tech education outside of school is from an organization like ours, but there are very few organizations that provide programs for free,” Mobley said. “The crowdfunding campaign is meant to raise money to provide more free programs to more kids, so last year were providing programs to about 90 kids per week and we want to increase the number of kids we can provide free programs to.”
The free programs Coded by Kids provide are through partners like schools, nonprofits that work with youths, and recreation centers.
“I started Coded by Kids because I was working in the tech industry and I noticed a lack of diversity. If you look at a tech company like Google, it has thousands of employees and only 1% of their tech employees are black,” Mobley said. “You can clearly see the problem, but the issue is how do you address it.”
He says the average student graduating from high school in Philadelphia is not getting the education that even remotely qualifies them to go into a position in the tech industry, and with the money raised at Indiegogo.com, Coded by Kids hopes to raise $50,000 to add at least 12 new programs in Philadelphia.