Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discussed Microsoft YouthSpark back in September of last year where he promised to dedicate $75 million to the program. Now, seven months later, details on how some of that money is being spent have been revealed; It’s being invested in 100 non-profit organizations in 55 countries all over the world.
These organizations, mostly local schools, businesses and community groups, will help underprivileged youth with little opportunity to learn computer skills, do so in a safe and professional environment. Participants will receive training that will not only give them practical skills but will also prepare them for job applications and future careers in a variety of industries.
Microsoft YouthSpark will work in tandem with the company’s other programs such as Hour of Code with Code.org, BBC micro:bit, and TEALS and according to Mary Snapp, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Head of Microsoft Philanthropies, Microsoft will also be working with governments t change policy.
“We also recognize that governments play a critical role in continued progress on this important issue,” she says on their ambitious targets. “We continue to work with policymakers around the world to support the policy and funding necessary to expand computer science into public education. In the U.S., we’re proud to support Computer Science for All, a national effort created by President Barack Obama to give all American students the opportunity to learn computer science in school.”
Later in April this year, Microsoft will be holding a YouthSpark Summit at the Microsoft campus in Redmond. “We’ll learn, discuss, share ideas and develop action plans so that, together with our partners, we can continue to improve and bring better knowledge and expertise to local communities,” Snapp explains. “Every young person should have an opportunity, a spark, to realize a more promising future. Together with our non-profit partners, we are excited to take a bold step toward that goal today.”Further reading: Hour Of Code, Microsoft, YouthSpark