Funded by Nonprofit, RESET Project to Provide Mentoring, Career Development, Scholarships
Photo courtesy of Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing
A nonprofit tech coalition has awarded the University of Maryland $500,000 to establish a program in the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing (I4C) to expand the ranks of Black, Latina and Native American (BLNA) women who earn bachelor’s degrees in computing.
Through the new gift from Reboot Representation, the RESET (Represent, Excel and Support Equity in Tech) Project will provide targeted outreach and customized support for women from underrepresented backgrounds, including career development and community building through social events, mentoring, coaching and financial assistance.
“I4C is all about creating a supportive, vibrant and inclusive computing community,” said I4C Associate Director Kate Atchison. "The RESET Project will help us deliver on that mission and champion our BLNA women studying computing.”
Black, Latina and Native American women represent approximately 16% of the total U.S. population, yet make up only 4% of students obtaining bachelor's degrees in computing. The landscape at UMD is similar; they make up 13% of UMD undergraduates, but only 5% of bachelor’s degrees in computing.
“At Reboot Representation, we know that intentional, specific programs improve access for BLNA women to computing degrees and careers,” said CEO Dwana Franklin-Davis. “The University of Maryland has been an extraordinary leader when it comes to creating on-ramps for BLNA women to pursue computing, and their work plays a large role in why Maryland produces 16% of all Black women computing graduates in the nation.”
Reboot Representation Tech Coalition is a group of 21 leading tech companies that are committed to doubling the number of Black, Latina and Native American women receiving computing degrees by 2025. It works to achieve that goal through targeted, philanthropic investments in the often-overlooked programs and institutions that make education and careers in computing more equitable.
One of the core elements of the new RESET Project is RESET Scholars, a yearlong scholarship cohort program for BLNA students that focuses on leadership, academic excellence and empowerment. The 23-member inaugural cohort includes Terps majoring in computer science, information science, computer engineering, electrical engineering and immersive media design, along with three mentors.
RESET Scholars’ mentoring program matches freshmen and sophomore students with mentors in their junior and senior years who share identities and majors. RESET Scholars will also have access to mentors who are alums in tech industries. Role models are critical to students, as college women who have a “good image” of tech workers are 27% more likely to look for a job in tech.
“Because RESET Scholars specifically focuses on supporting BLNA women in computing, I can connect with like-minded peers and mentors who can offer guidance, encouragement and shared experiences, building a strong community that I can turn to, rely on and learn from,” said freshman computer science major Ayo Ajayi.
Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.
Faculty, staff and students receive the daily Maryland Today e-newsletter. To be added to the subscription list, sign up here:Subscribe