UnidosUS Receives $2 Million Grant from Google.org to Introduce Latino Students to Computer Science and Coding

CASA Code program will help Latino students narrow the tech diversity gap

Washington, DC—UnidosUS, the largest Latino research and advocacy organization, announced it would be receiving a $2 million-dollar grant award from Google.org during a morning press conference held at UnidosUS Affiliate organization, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, in Los Angeles. The grant will help officially launch the organization’s CASA Code program, a program designed to introduce Latino middle school children to computer science and coding. CASA Code will help bridge the diversity gap that exists in the tech sector. While Latinos represent nearly one in five U.S. workers, they only hold seven percent of STEM jobs and only six percent of science and engineering jobs, according to the National Science Foundation.

“We want to thank Google for its generous grant award and its commitment to ensuring that Latino youth aren’t being left behind by the technological revolution of the 21st century,” UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía said during the launching event at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. “Encouraging young people to consider STEM jobs will put them in the pipeline to a tech career. Considering that one in three new workers in the labor force will be Latino by 2030, helping these workers contribute as much as they can will be an economic boom as well. Google.org’s initiative is a win for our community, but it is also a win for tech, a win for our economy and a win for our country.”

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CASA Code will provide middle school students with hands-on computer science and coding experience in Spanish. It will also include parents in the process of learning about academic and career trajectories in computer science. In addition, the program will encourage students to apply what they learn to the challenges they see in their surroundings, develop their leadership skills and foster a culture of service to the community.

“As a Latino in tech, I personally know how challenging the inner workings of the technology space can look from the outside. At the same time, I know the power of tech to transform lives and solve problems, particularly when the creators of those solutions reflect the communities they solve for. That’s why I am so excited to stand alongside visionary Latino-led, Latino serving organizations like UnidosUS to enable more Latino students to be exposed, at an early age, to technical skills. In doing so, our hope is that they will not only learn new skills, but also be inspired to see themselves as belonging in roles that require computational skills,” said Hector Mujica, Manager, Google.org.

The CASA Code program will start at five sites and expand to 10 sites by the Fall of 2019. UnidosUS participating Affiliate partners include: Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles, CA; Brighton Park Neighborhood Council in Chicago, IL; ConXion to Community in San Jose, CA; and Cypress Hills School in Brooklyn, NY.

Please see Google.org’s blog for more information.