‘Tis the season to get geeky?
It’s apparent that Washington state’s local economy is driven by science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs. But with 25,000 unfilled positions, STEM education promotion is needed to build homegrown talent, particularly among women and minorities.
And that’s why GeekWire and Bank of America have come together along with “gift matching” technology companies to offer people a chance to help with Geeks Give Back, a philanthropic initiative that supports the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship’s (WSOS) mission to help low-income students earn degrees in STEM education fields.
The WSOS was created in 2011 to address empty seats in the high-demand areas that push Washington’s economy – including aerospace, engineering, technology, healthcare and rising costs of tuition at Washington colleges and universities. The program supports Washington students from low- and middle-income households to attain bachelor’s degrees in high-demand fields through scholarships of up to $22,500. The program also offers professional development, skill building workshops and an industry overview to assist students enter Washington’s workforce.
Launched on October 1, Geeks Give Back takes an active role in helping solve the labor shortage in the tech industry, and how not enough students are studying math, technology, engineering and science in school.
GeekWire and Bank of America have set an ambitious goal to raise up to $500,000 over the next two months – all proceeds will directly impact the tech industry by helping hardworking students with much-needed scholarships and guidance. To reach this goal, Geeks Give Back is hoping the tech community can help – companies of all sizes (and individuals) can get involved by making donations to WSOS.
Being nearly two weeks into the annual campaign, the program has raised $120,000 so far from tech corporations like Moz, New Tech Seattle, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and PicMonkey. Seattle angel investor Gary Rubens, who already donated $20 million to WSOS earlier this year, will match up to $125,000 in donations. Rubens believes that matching donations helps others get inspired to support the next generation of tech workers, especially for those who may have a more difficult time getting into the industry.
Are you interested in giving back? Simply go to the WSOS Geeks Give Back page! This is a great way to help deserving students have an opportunity to pursue their dreams.