HHF & Google Host STEM Symposia in 15+ Markets

Alberto Avalos

Innovation and Technology Program Manager

More than 250 Students Signed Up for Jam Session at Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC – Next up was Pittsburgh, PA on September 27, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and Google announced it would host LOFT Coding Jam Sessions across America in over 15 markets after launching the program in Boyle Heights in Los Angeles in December and on February 21st at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School where more than 250 students signed up to learn the basics of coding and learn about career opportunities in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) from a panel of experts. The free, bilingual Jam Sessions instructed minority youth on how to code using HTML and CSS while hip-hop, jazz and salsa music played in the background. As an incentive, a Google Chromebook laptop was awarded to the student with the best idea to make a positive impact on their community.

LOFT is HHF’s award-winning leadership and workforce development program and the Coding Jam Sessions – which are being executed all over the country – are part of LOFT’s Innovation & Technology Track.  Other LOFT Tracks include Science & Healthcare, Engineering, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Education, Public Service, and Media & Entertainment. In addition to Los Angeles and Washington, DC, the Coding Jam Sessions also took place in Austin as part of SXSW Festival (March 7), Chicago (March 12), Silicon Valley as part of Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Conference (May 2), Miami (Spring), New York (Spring), Pittsburgh (Spring), Coachella in CA (Spring), Salem,  (Spring), Wheaton, MD and other markets.  HHF also recorded video footage of the events to post online for students, educators, nonprofits and even parents to access the LOFT curriculum as an introduction to coding.

“Driving this effort is the belief that every youth throughout our communities deserves to have access to high-level technology programs and trainings,” said Emanuel Pleitez, Chairman of HHF. “We are thrilled to partner with Google and innovative educational institutions such as the Cesar Chavez School to inspire and equip minority youth to be world-class innovators.”

“There is no greater way to make an impact than through technology and to encourage innovation,” added Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF.  “We believe these are young leaders of today, not tomorrow.  America can’t wait.  The time to fill the skills gap in America is now.  Ahora sí!”