Five years ago, Jessica Santana and Evin Robinson's love for technology, leadership and Brooklyn, New York, spawned an organization to educate local kids about tech.
Enter Brooklyn on Tech, a company they co-founded that is designed develop the untapped talent of Brooklyn’s junior and senior high school students and introduce them to the world of technology.
“Brooklyn has changed drastically from when Jessica and I were in high school," Robinson told BET.com. "We started Brooklyn on Tech to teach high school students the importance of technology, and we are focusing on teaching them how to design, develop and deploy technology. We are teaching them these skills so they can go on to the job market with these skills or to start their own entrepreneurial adventures."
Santana said that the high school students they target already “use technology in very passive ways” and their organization hopes to encourage them to be more active members of the tech scene in New York City.
“Looking back in our lives, I don’t think access to technology was an issue. But understanding how it was created is where the gap exists,” Santana told BET.com.
Santana and Robinson, who both work for Accenture, don’t teach the students on their own. They seek help from dedicated tech professionals.
“What’s critical is that all the scholars receive mentors from either a global tech firm or a startup tech firm,” Robinson said.
To reach these high school students, the duo is currently accepting applicants to their exclusive Tech Flex Scholars program.
“We select 20 scholars, and they will be placed in the Brooklyn on Tech curriculum," Robinson said. "We will teach them everything about technology — how to design it, deploy it and test it."
On Sept. 26, Brooklyn on Tech will hold a launch event to raise money for their program.
“At the launch event, we will be talking about the importance of technology, and honoring some people. It’s a big networking event for professionals in technology and other areas,” Robinson said.
According to these entrepreneurs, it’s important for young people to learn the innovations of technology whether they choose to be hands on with it, or not.
“We’ve come to a position where everything is impacted by tech," Robinson said. "It’s important for students to understand technology because your job and future is impacted by technology and how much you know about it."
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(Photo: Courtesy Jessica Santana and Evin Robinson)