The mission of the UIC Black Tech Scholars Program is to ensure professional and web development opportunities for African American undergraduate students in order to foster interest and representation in the technology industry.
The Black Tech Scholars Program started from an honest dialogue regarding racial and gender disparities in the technology sector that later cultivated into a full fledged partnership between private and public entities committed to providing young people of color with the opportunity to acquire transferable professional development skills and gain hands-on experiential learning opportunities.
Our goal is to provide opportunities for African American students to learn technical and professional skills that will give them the tools they need to pursue careers in the modern workplace. By providing these opportunities for our scholars, we can change the landscape of the tech workforce demographic and create a more inclusive environment.
We continue to find ways to assist our scholars experience in their pursuits to gain relevant technical skills that can eventually prepare them for careers within the tech industry. In addition to the weekly courses, our scholars have an opportunity to engage in the following activities:
• Connect directly with professionals in the field to build their networks and obtain mentorship
• Actively participate in design sprint-like events (Hack-a-thon) in which computer programmers and others involved in software development collaborate intensively on software projects
• Complete a culminating project in which scholars design and develop websites for local community organizations
• Attend career fairs, networking events and forums in order to research career possibilities, network with prospective employers, make and obtain a first impression with potential employers and clients.