The San Francisco Bay Area is the nation's #1 tech hub, but yet so many students of color fall behind in STEM.
This very notion leads to exactly why it's so important that minority high school students are equipped with resources to become successful in the tech industry.
There is no doubt, that technology has shaped the way we think, communicate, and address societal ills. Over the last ten years, the tech industry aka the startup age, has disrupted so many different industries with its incredible innovation, grit and persistence.
Unfortunately, one pain point that the tech industry has yet to master, is its inclusivity to draw opportunities for minority success. Access to capital and elite networks are a few of the challenges minority tech enthusiasts face in this industry.
The good news is there are emerging minority leaders who are taking the intiative to create solution based networks, programs and tech startups of their very own.
Thanks to Marvel's groundbreaking film 'Black Panther' minorities in tech are being acknowledged on an international level. Shuri is T'Challa's (Black Panther) younger sister, who is the genius behind the technological operations Wakanda.
During the Black Panther film, T'Challa and Shuri made a visit to the City of Oakland, it was quite evident that T'Challa was going to revitalize the poverty stricken neighborhood for the good of the people.
This movie scene is a great reminder that there are so many Shuri's and T'Challa's who are just waiting for the right mentor, investor, teacher or organization to magnify their talents and self-esteem in STEM.
So far, 2018 has caused a serious paradigm shift and I am excited to announce the Onyx Scholars Program will host a STEM Day on Saturday, May 19th at Merritt College in Oakland, California.
Local high school students will meet with top tech professionals and enjoy a variety of STEM activites that the entire family can enjoy!
Some of the activities will include:
Learning to Code on Apple Swiftplaygrounds + Sphero Maze Challenge. Panel Discussion "Leveraging Black Excellence in Healthcare and Tech fields." Biotech and Virtual Reality (VR) activities.
Also, students and families will have the opportunity to meet HBCU recruiters and learn more about HBCUs STEM Undergraduate Programs. HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WILL GET ACCEPTED ON THE SPOT!
The Stem Day will not only celebrate student innovation, but will jumpstart the Onyx Scholars' HBCU STEM Initiative.
Let's take the time to wish a 'good luck' to those startups, networks, and organizations who are still wrapping their minds around terminology; including diversity and inclusion.
By the time, the elite tech leaders and organizations look up, the kids who came from low poverished neighborhoods will take the throne in the tech industry.
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA --- Special thanks to Oakland's Hack The Hood for selecting our organization to participate in 2017 Summer Build Program! Not only did the Onyx Scholars Program receive a complimentary website, we also helped a young developer launch a career.
This summer we worked with Steven Palomares, who is a proud Oakland native that is making great strives at UC Davis majoring in Biotechnology.
Palomares is multi-talented, focused and articulate; during the last few weeks he has unquestionably showcased great leadership qualities.
Additionally, I wouldn't be surprised if I saw this young man on the front cover of WIRED, Fast Company, Entrepreneur or any other notable technology magazines.
We, the Onyx Scholars Program are so proud to play a key role in the development of our future STEM leaders.
In June, we partnered with the Bay Street Apple Store to provided a three-day codeathon for inner-city youth from the San Francisco Bay Area.
After witnessing the brilliance of Palomares web design expertise, we wanted to create more space and opportunity for youth of color, especially in the STEM fields.
Steven, thanks for being a great example to many young Oaklanders! During our summer consultations, you made us realize that investing in the future is investing in our youth!
MORAL OF THE STORY: " The U.S. needs 1 million more STEM professionals over the next decade than it is projected to produce at the current rate."
- The National + Math Science Initiative
Written By: Maiya Newsome-Edgerly