Tech Education in Oakland: Creating Real Opportunity for All Oaklanders

Google’s Code Next space teems over with TechEquity members hungry to hear how Oakland’s tech ecosystem prepares students for STEM careers. Representing OUSD, Computer Science Manager Claire Shorall speaks to student success despite adequate resources. Johnnie Williams, Computer Information Systems Faculty Member of Peralta Community College District believes that the biggest challenge posed to their efforts is simple awareness. Johnnie tells us that most students aren’t remotely aware of the tech would operating less than 20 miles away.

Alejandra Ibarra, OUSD graduate, winner of the Kapor Center’s Startup Weekend competition, and sophomore Computer Science Major at UC Berkeley speaks to the isolation involved in being a POC in tech.

Akeem Brown, Programs Director of The Hidden Genius Project stresses the need for wraparound services to ensure a holistic education for underserved populations. In his assessment, youth who are hungry, poorly clothed, and impoverished have a hard time learning, yet alone learning to code.

Albrey Brown, Cofounder of Telegraph Academy shares his trials from simply convincing folks they can do it. He believes that the biggest barrier to advancement for adults of color in his program is the simple belief that it’s possible. He suggested more visible role models and public support might aide program completion.

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