Outcomes: Oakland Unified School District Partnership
School and district officials, parents, teachers, and students talk about the challenges they faced before Intel’s STEM partnership with two Oakland schools changed attitudes and opened paths to technology careers for underrepresented minorities and women.
What I love about Oakland is probably the culture and the people that you meet around. It's very diverse. But sometimes it can be that education in certain areas which will hold you back, you know, in the long run.
Now it got better, but ninth-grade year, I didn't like going to school. I wasn't interested in what I was learning. So it's like, if I didn't want to do it, then I wouldn't try to do it.
Oakland is in the middle of Silicon Valley and its impact economically, geographically, but we have classes that don't have books, computers, different things like that. That's unacceptable. So having people who have the resources and distributing them in a way that makes sense is showing our students that they are valuable. And then they rise to that and are going to perform.
It's not a lot of people my color in the tech industry. They want to be in tech, but they don't know how or they don't get into it. But it's happening. It's going to be more of us in the field.
So Intel comes, we sit down, we have real conversations. Those conversations lead to new programs and improvements of existing programs.
We went on a whole lot more college tours, visiting different industries, visiting Intel, allowing students to really be able to see the different roles that exist. And students really could envision themselves in those roles.
My mentor taught me a lot about how it works in the tech industry and what I need to do in order to stay on that path.
Being around the professionals and seeing what their daily jobs is like, it's really inspiring me to become a good computer engineer.
Being inside the path, that kind of reinforced me to go into what I actually, truly want to do. I really want to do computer science.
Prior to Intel, a student that is enrolled in Oakland Tech will probably go through high school experience without ever experiencing computer science.
Because of the Intel partnership, we've seen a three-fold increase in the number of students who are entering college and majoring in STEM fields.
More girls are participating in computer science, about 20% every year.
We feel like this is just the beginning. And continuing to bridge more partnerships just so that we have more kids that are prepared for many of the jobs that we know that are out there.
The future generation is going to have a different world than we have, so it's good that they have all these different programs, because the technology is evolving every day. It never stops.
I always tell our students that their vision, their lens of the world, is what technology wants to build for. Well, why not build it yourself? And ultimately, we say it and you hear it a lot, to move from this idea of people who just consume to students who create, that's real and that is the future of technology.