BGCA & Microsoft partner for youth

Source: Boys and Girls Clubs of American Samoa

Boys & Girls Clubs of American Samoa (BGCAS) is helping community youth learn critical thinking, problem-solving, and coding through the new Computer Science (CS) Pathway program, thanks to a $3 million partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Microsoft.

BGCA and Microsoft developed the CS Pathway to prepare the next generation of students with science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) skills.

The program puts a special emphasis on helping a larger number of underserved youth learn and apply computer science skills throughout their education so that they will be prepared to succeed in an increasingly technology driven economy. The pathway structure empowers young people to find programs that best meet their needs.

For Club members who already have some coding proficiency through Hour of Code or other programs, the CS Pathway provides additional options to them further and build on that interest.

BGCAS and thirty-one Boys & Girls Clubs across the country took part in the CS Pathway program offering four levels of fun and engaging CS curriculum. Pathway delivery and acquired skills build on one another to encourage members to develop passion and proficiencies in coding, over time and at any level.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there will be one million unfilled jobs for computer scientists and programmers by 2020, yet many children today still lack access to the tools and resources they need to learn and love computer science” said Mrs. Mary A.T. Tulafono, BGCAS Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Volunteer Officer. 

“Thanks to CS Pathway, we will be able to help our Club members interact with code and other computer science skills by channeling their personal interests and providing a long-term path to develop program capabilities over time,” she said.

“Jobs increasingly require critical and computational thinking skills, yet only 25% of high schools in the United States offer computer science,” said Mary Snapp, Corporate Vice President and head of Microsoft Philanthropies. “The Computer Science Pathway is an after-school program that will empower young people from all backgrounds to pursue a broad range of career opportunities, both in technology and otherwise.”

According to STEMConnector.org, STEM jobs in the U.S. are expected to grow nearly twice as fast as other fields by 2018.  By 2020, one million jobs will likely go unfilled due to a lack of computer science skills.

The CS Pathway curriculum taps into engaging content like gaming and app development to introduce more underrepresented youth, of all ages, to computer science skills.

Boys & Girls Clubs of American Samoa serves over 150 youth through Club membership and community outreach annually.

CS Pathway is part of Boys & Girls Clubs of American Samoa’s strategy aimed at ensuring all members graduate from high school on time, are ready for a post-secondary education, and a 21st century career.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @Microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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