HHF launched its first Code as a Second Language (CSL) Academy of 2017 at Connally High School in Austin, Texas in partnership with The Best Buy Foundation!
CSL is a national educational initiative introducing, teaching and connecting Latino youth to computer programming by leveraging young programmers in the HHF network to serve as CSL Fellows. The model fosters a network of Latino software engineers and generational leaders. The 8-session academies take place in different high schools around the country, all year long with the support of corporate sponsors, like The Best Buy Foundation who sponsored the Connally High School CSL Academy as well as 4 other CSL Academies in Los Angeles, CA, Minneapolis, MN, Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA.
CSL provides a meaningful computer science education for Latino youth and is a part of The Foundation’s efforts to train and prepare Latino youth to fill the gaps in America’s workforce.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer programming jobs are growing at two times the national average and by 2020 approximately 2 million tech jobs will need to be filled, yet 90 percent of schools don’t teach computer coding.
Once the students complete the program, they are provided with access to year-long LOFT Innovation Leadership and Workforce Development programs including STEM Symposia, Innovation Fellowships, Youth Awards, and other work-based learning opportunities.
A student at Connally High School said, “I take part in this course because I am eager to learn, and want to master different programming languages to create my own game or build my own company.”
Technology is a crucial part of everyday life, and our CSL program embodies all the components that students need to learn to go above and beyond what is expected in this field. We’re not only teaching students the beginning stages of coding, but connecting them with individuals who care about their success after they graduate and move on to college.
“Computer science can help youth build the skills necessary for success in school, workforce, and in life,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. “Beyond preparing Latino youth for jobs in the tech industry, which America desperately needs, we also want to promote creativity, innovative thinking, problem-solving, and how to work with others to solve issues.”
To learn more about our CSL program and how to get involved as a student, partner or sponsor watch our video below!