CTA, Colorado Succeeds, Silicon STEM Academy join to offer computer science scholarships for state’s high school students

Thursday November 16, 2017 0 comments Tags: Denver, Colorado Technology Association , Colorado Succeeds, Silicon STEM Academy, Kelly Underell, John Scarborough, Scott Laband

DENVER -- As the tech sector continues to evolve, many companies are having difficulty finding qualified workers to fill in-demand, high-tech jobs.

Expanding immediate access to computer science training is a statewide imperative to help continue to build the state’s tech talent pool and fill critical job openings.CTA_logoUSE

Colorado Technology Association (CTA), Colorado Succeeds and Silicon STEM Academy announced they have partnered on a $20,000 scholarship fund for 100 Colorado students statewide to jumpstart their future in tech through online coding classes.

“We know that students who learn computer science in high school are six times more likely to major in it, yet most Colorado schools do not offer computer science courses,” said Kelly Underell, Colorado Technology Foundation executive director.

“Colorado Technology Association and the Foundation are dedicated to elevating our state’s tech talent pipeline. This scholarship program is just one solution of a multi- pronged approach to increase computer science education in our state.”

The program is funded by Silicon STEM Academy, a Denver-based STEM enrichment organization that teaches Colorado students coding, engineering and digital media skills to prepare them for advanced education and/or careers in technology.

Applications are open through Dec. 20 with an emphasis on female students. The classes will be held online and are available to students who live outside the Denver-Boulder corridor.

The scholarship opportunity coincides with National Computer Science Education Week and global Hour of Code events taking place Dec. 4-10.

“Our goal is to offer 50 percent of the scholarships to females and have 50 percent be outside the Denver-Boulder corridor,” said John Scarborough, Silicon STEM Academy founder.

“While a lack of STEM training opportunities is a reality for many Colorado students, it is especially prevalent for those outside the Denver Metro area. This scholarship opportunity aims to improve the STEM education gap for our underserved and minority populations.”

Computing occupations are the No. 1 source of all new wages in the U.S. and make up two thirds of all projected new jobs in STEM fields. Colorado currently has 13,500+ open computing jobs with an average salary of $98,597. Yet Colorado had only 785 computer science grads in 2015. These Colorado graduation rates and technology training opportunities impact the students and their families, businesses, community and the state economy.

“This is an issue that is becoming increasingly more important as we prepare for the workforce of the future, which is grounded in technology,” said Scott Laband, Colorado Succeeds president.

“Colorado is committed to providing more STEM training opportunities for all Colorado students through initiatives like this and the Colorado STEM initiative.”

To learn more or apply for the Computer Science Scholarship, visit  www.siliconstemacademy.com/scholarships.