White House Office of Science & Tech & HHF!

Alberto Avalos

Innovation and Technology Program Manager

WASHINGTON, DC – Hispanic Heritage Foundation President and CEO Antonio Tijerino was invited by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to present the LOFT Video Gaming Innovation Initiative as a case study during the Minorities in STEM Workshop on February 25, 2014. The LOFT Video Gaming Innovation initiative was a partnership between HHF and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) through HHF’s Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) program. HHF also developed the Computer Coding Jam Sessions with Google which are being executed in over 10 markets across America as minority middle school and high school students are taught the basics of coding.

The LOFT Video Gaming Innovation initiative focused on challenging minority youth, ages 15-25 across the country, to develop a video game or phone app which addressed a social issue. Twenty minority youth were selected as Fellows and presented their ideas to Members of Congress, White House Officials and community leaders in December. They also received an innovation grant to further their ideas. LOFT will work with the Fellows to maximize their impact on the community going forward.

The Computer Coding Jam sessions kicked off in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and in Austin, TX during the South by Southwest Festival and will be jamming to classrooms in Chicago, Miami, Silicon Valley, New York, Pittsburgh, and other markets.

“The LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship and the LOFT Computer Coding Jam Sessions were inspired by a meeting last year convened by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy,” said Tijerino. “At the core of the initiative is the belief that using technology for social change or career paths is essential to not only the advancement of minority communities, but America as a nation. Through this creative partnership with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, we continue to engage youth on their terms and where they live.”

HHF’s award-winning LOFT leadership and workforce development program is divided into 10 “Tracks,” or industries, which are priorities for America including Innovation & Technology, Science & Healthcare, Engineering, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Education, Public Service, Law, Media & Entertainment, and Latinas.

About HHF and LOFT
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation – a nonprofit established by the White House in 1987 – inspires, prepares, and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions. HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and the LOFT Institute is housed at Michigan State University (Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org.)

LOFT is HHF’s award-winning, leadership and workforce-development program focused on “Tracks” or industries. Tens of thousands of students and young professionals are connected to each other, guides and resources; over 50 trainings, workshops, and informal Charlas are hosted across the country in the different Tracks; creative initiatives are executed; and hundreds of minorities are placed into internships, mentorships, fellowships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. Join http://loftnetwork.org to get on the fast track.

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