Four girls, three minutes and one impactful, technical capstone project.
In February 2020 (for our last in-person event since the pandemic), we held our third annual Demo Day at H-E-B’s Eastside Tech Hub campus in downtown Austin. Student teams from all over the Austin metro area including Pflugerville, Manor, Del Valle, Round Rock and other districts, delivered rousing pitches for their respective capstone projects. Students had collaborated for months on these civic engagement projects ranging from a 3-D foot traffic simulator for Principals and district Administrators to use for school planning to a mobile app that helps build community by identifying concentrations of ELL populations. But one project, in particular, focused on connecting students seeking mental health and academic habits support with the resources they needed. That project was developed by Annie, Alicia, An and Ashley. For their effort and impressive delivery, Team AAAA secured 2nd place in last year’s Demo Day and each lady took home a $1,500 college scholarship sponsored by Google.
But this was just one of many ways that Google has supported Code2College over the past five years.
Since 2016, Google has been investing time, talent and treasure in Code2College with a keen eye towards understanding our needs first before providing support. The Google Fiber Austin office served as the venue for our first mock interview workshop for students in our inaugural cohort, several of whom went on to interview for the first high school internship placements that we made in Summer 2017. And though it was our first workshop with them, Google went on to host workshops with Code2College on an annual basis. From more interview prep sessions which involved more complex behavioral and analytical questions that had previously been used in Google interviews to resume development sessions. Through partnerships and support from the Black Googler Network and Hispanic Googlers Network (HOLA), we have only continued to scale our work together.
Our students have taken notice of this investment and for years, Code2College students have continued to nominate and select Google for our annual awards. In both 2018 and 2020, Google secured the Workshop of the Year Award, and having delivered their first virtual workshop with us last Fall and our first STEM workshop planned for this month, they are certainly a contender for yet another Award nomination in 2021.
And can we talk about the volunteers for a moment? For the past several years, hundreds of Googlers have taken their weekends, evenings and weekdays to develop workshop content, recruit volunteer talent and technical expertise and even advocate for Code2College support throughout the Austin tech ecosystem. Googlers have consistently shown an orientation toward community investment and engagement. In fact, you’ll even see Googlers like Derrell Monroe make cameos in our 2020 Holiday Video – the first of its kind (and in alignment with health and safety standards!).
There is a great deal more that we can and will accomplish together, particularly with our national scale ahead. We’re grateful to Google for the partnership and look forward to much more impact on and investment in the lives of the students and communities we serve!