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AT&T, Southwest Airlines and Hispanic Heritage Foundation join the Puede Network to teach hundreds of Dallas youth to code over the summer

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Launch of Code as a Second Language Effort will be in Oak Cliff Neighborhood on July 27, 2-4:30 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DALLAS, TX – AT&T, Southwest Airlines and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) will join the Puede Network in the Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas on July 27, 2-4:30 p.m., at 3145 Nandina Drive, to kick off a summer Code as a Second Language (CSL) Academy teaching hundreds of students how to code throughout the summer. The parents of the youths will also be in attendance. The Puede Network summer program also aims to offset a 20% drop-off in learning over the summer by students which is exacerbated by a lack of technology outside of schools also known as the “Homework Gap.”

“As leaders of the education system in our community, we have the responsibility to not just understand the community’s flaws, but to walk with the community in finding solutions together,” said Adan Gonzalez, an Oak Cliff native who founded the Puede Network. “Access to technology outside of school hours provides the pathway for students to succeed by their own merit, and not be hindered by what their environment may have destined for them.  This collective effort with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and AT&T is to break down barriers while building bridges so our kids talent meets their potential.”

The AT&T CSL effort will launch in Dallas and then take place in Brownsville, TX, and Salinas, CA. Through the partnership, AT&T and HHF, along with community partners like Puede Network, will teach students to code and will expose them to tech professionals, who can serve as mentors and sources of inspiration. Southwest Airlines is the Official Airline of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

The effort is designed to bridge a gap between the business community’s need for talent with technology skills and for students to be exposed to computer science.  Among Latino students, those who take Advanced Placement Computer Science in high school are 7 to 8 times more likely to take computer science in college, according to Code.org. In the United States, there are 500,000 unfilled jobs in tech, which is estimated to nearly triple to 1.4 million unfilled tech jobs by 2020.

“Driving CSL is the fundamental belief that all youth deserve access to technology-based programs and the opportunity to enter the workforce in a stronger position which will help America move forward,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF. “AT&T, Southwest Airlines and Puede Network share in that vision and we are grateful their leadership in preparing Latino youth for the classroom and workforce.”

The students will also be referred to the LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) Network for ongoing on-line instruction and will connect to other students, mentors, networking, resources, STEM-related events and later potential internships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies. By next year, more than half of all jobs will require technical skills, but a majority of students wouldn’t have learned coding in school. Coding will also enable students to be creators, innovators and entrepreneurs rather than just consumers of technology. CSL was established in Los Angeles in 2013 and by the end of this year will be in 75 regions, including Puerto Rico and Mexico, reaching more than 100,000 students.

About the Puede Network

The Puede Network, which serves over 500 underserved Latino families in Texas, promotes leadership, fitness, academics and community service through year-round after school programs aimed at K-12 students and their parents. Visit https://www.facebook.com/SiSePuedeNetwork/.

 About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, a national nonprofit, concentrating on education, workforce, culture and leadership with a special focus on technology through the Code as a Second Language (CSL) program which includes academies, bootcamps, workshops, apprenticeships and sourcing talent for Fortune 500 Companies. HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, with satellite workspaces in New York, Silicon Valley, San Antonio, and Miami (Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org).

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