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Cognizant US Foundation Awards $1 Million to Code Nation to Provide Computer Science Education and Job Experience

Two-Year Grant Will Fund Programs at Under-Resourced Schools in Chicago, New York, and the Bay Area, Creating New Pathways into Careers in Technology

The Cognizant U.S. Foundation announced a two-year, $1 million grant to Code Nation, an organization that partners with technology companies to give students at under-resourced high schools skills, experiences, and connections to enter careers in technology. The grant will serve 3,500 students in New York City, Chicago, and the Bay Area.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, four out of five people who pursue careers in technology decide to do so in high school, but just eight percent of students from under-resourced high schools earn a degree in a STEM-related field within six years of graduation. More than 75 percent of the students Code Nation serves identify as Black or Latinx, and 44 percent identify as female, transgender, or gender non-conforming. To date, 67 percent of Code Nation alumni who completed two or more years of its programs are currently majoring or employed in a STEM field.

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“Through collaboration with employers, and a focus on both education and professional development, Code Nation is changing the face of the technology workforce while promoting socioeconomic mobility for students who need it most,” said Kristen Titus, Executive Director of the Cognizant U.S. Foundation. “We are thrilled to help this organization reach even more students in the coming years.”

With a volunteer teaching corps of nearly 300 professional web and software developers from leading technology companies and a network of school and company partners, Code Nation provides coding courses and work-based learning opportunities to students at under-resourced high schools. Over the past year, Cognizant employees have volunteered with Code Nation, helping students develop in-demand skills and prepare for technology careers.

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“Careers in technology are some of the highest earning in an industry that is growing exponentially,” said Rebecca Novak, CEO of Code Nation. “For young people growing up in low-income circumstances, access to the tech industry would mean a pathway to economic mobility, but opportunities for these students tend to be limited. In order to build bridges between communities and the tech industry, Code Nation makes a multi-year investment in students to provide them with the skills and social capital necessary to launch careers in tech. We are so excited to partner with the Cognizant U.S. Foundation to reach more students across the country. We applaud the Foundation’s commitment to increasing equity and diversity in the tech sector.”

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