For the past year, my friend Lester Jackson has been volunteering at Manson High School in Central Washington by remotely teaching Computer Science through a Microsoft Youth Spark program named TEALS.
Lester has always been super passionate of improving computer literacy, especially in unrepresented communities. Several other volunteers and Lester work with an experienced high school teacher, and come in before work a few days a week to teach CS in their assigned high school 1 to 2 days a week.
Why does Lester do it?
According to a 2013 study by Code.org, 90% of US high schools do not teach computer science. With software engineers in high demand in the private sector, schools often cannot find instructors with a computer science background, and struggle to compete with the compensation packages offered in industry. Even more staggering are the following statistics:
•Less than 2.4% of college students graduate with a degree in computer science and the numbers have dropped since the last decade
•Exposure to CS leads to some of the best paying jobs in the world. But 75% of our population is underrepresented
•In 2012, fewer than 3,000 African Americans and Hispanic students took the high school A.P. computer science exam
•While 57% of bachelor’s degrees are earned by women, just 12% of computer science degrees are awarded to women
•In 25 of 50 US states, computer science doesn’t count towards high school graduation math or science requirements Source: Code.org
The program needs more volunteers for next year. Here is how you can get involved: