Nearly all jobs today require at least a basic knowledge of technology, and careers that call for advanced computing skills are on the rise. However, computer science education is still largely absent in schools. Microsoft is dedicated to ensuring that all youth — no matter where they live or what their background may be — have the opportunity to learn computer science and computational thinking.
On Nov. 4, as part of that commitment, Microsoft Chicago hosted 60 middle and high school students for a free YouthSpark Live event. The daylong experience enabled local youth to collaborate, get creative and support one another — while exploring the latest technology.
YouthSpark Live events bring young people together to not just learn about technology, but also shape a plan for their future. Participants identify the skills they need to reach their goals, determine how technology can propel them forward, and connect with programs to help them along the way.
The Chicago event was possible thanks to Microsoft’s partnership with Chicago’s Greater Englewood Community Development Corp. (CDC), which is aimed at helping people in the area get the necessary skills, tools and support to achieve digital literacy.
“We’re pleased to work with Microsoft to inspire Chicago-area youth and help them build the computer skills that will be essential to their future career success,” says Glen Fulton, executive director and president at Greater Englewood CDC. “YouthSpark Live supports our digital literacy training initiative by helping close the skills gap through increased access to computer science education.”
Over the next three years, Microsoft will invest $75 million in community programs — such as those offered through the Greater Englewood CDC — designed to boost access to computer science education for young people, especially for those from under-represented backgrounds, and build greater diversity into the tech talent pipeline.
YouthSpark Live Chicago offered students a wide range of activities to choose from:
- Hands-on technology breakout sessions
- Cutting-edge tech demos
- Coding workshops
- Panel discussions with government and community leaders representing a variety of perspectives on today’s economic and societal challenges
Attendees worked with Microsoft and community leaders throughout the day to complete a YouthSpark Live Action Plan, outlining steps to take along their chosen tech training path.
Microsoft YouthSpark is a global initiative to increase access for all youth to learn computer science, empowering them to achieve more for themselves, their families and their communities. Visit the Microsoft YouthSpark Hub or Microsoft Philanthropies to learn more and find out how you or your students can get involved. Attendees worked with Microsoft and community leaders throughout the day to complete a YouthSpark Live Action Plan, outlining steps to take along their chosen tech training path.
Tags: Chicago, Greater Englewood CDC, Greater Englewood Community Development Corp, Microsoft, Microsoft Chicago, Microsoft Philanthropies, Microsoft Youthspark, Raamel Mitchell, Youthspark, YouthSpark Live