2022 Grants Challenge

Further Innovate AOT’s LA Program Model

AOT’s program model is structured to position BIPOC students for competitive opportunities in the tech sector. During the grant period, AOT will: o Increase student tech skills development for 500 youth - working with them in a hybrid virtual and in-person environment. Of these youth, at least 80% will complete program graduation requirements and report an increased understanding of the skills taught. o Place 50 students in internships/work-based learning experiences – virtual or in person. o Hire 20 AOT alumni as peer mentors.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

The following collaborating organizations are confirmed: - DIY Girls - LA Promise Fund - Los Angeles Urban League Below are ways to reach out to our recruiting partners online. For our corporate partners who provide volunteers or internship opportunities, we are happy to provide contact emails if needed. https://www.diygirls.org/contact https://www.lapromisefund.org/contact/ https://laul.org/contact/

What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

K-12 STEAM Education

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

East LA

San Fernando Valley

South LA

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

A UCLA/Pledge LA report finds that while the LA tech industry has made efforts to increase the diversity of its workforce, there are still disparities that exist. The percentage of Black employees at major tech companies remains low: 2.9% at Salesforce, 3.8% at Facebook, 4.4% at Slack, 4.5% at Microsoft, and 6% at Twitter. The tech industry is fundamentally failing to move the needle on workplace diversity. The net result is an entire sector of the economy — the sector that has created the most wealth in California over the last 10 years — is barely open to Black and Latinx people. The report found that Black and Latinx workers make less money than their peers, and women earned an average of $20,000 less than men regardless of role or experience. [https://luskin.ucla.edu/hill-finds-lack-of-diversity-in-tech-industry]. Further, there is a significant disparity in computer science high school programs in white vs. non-white schools that limits tech skills learning among BIPOC youth.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

AOT’s Los Angeles programming consists of two core initiatives: TECH360 and Tech Flex Leaders. TECH360 is a three-week intensive that introduces youth to coding through web design and web development. The program teaches industry-aligned technical and professional skills to enable youth to gain knowledge of key coding languages and frameworks including HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap. Tech Flex Leaders is a year-long Out of School Time program. During the first semester, students will learn how to code through web development and mastering tech programs such as HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap. The semester will culminate in a Demo Day competition where youth will present their final web projects to a panel of judges. In the second semester, students will choose a tech track to pursue – gaining additional technology skillsets they can leverage when pursuing future work in the field. Students graduate with a portfolio of technical projects and 285 tech training hours and professional development focused on career readiness. Each student will also participate in one student technology competition, four industry technology career days with AOT’s corporate partners, and become eligible for placement into work-based learning experiences and paid internships. AOT recognizes that given our students' economic circumstances, they may not be able to participate in our programs due to a need for paid opportunities. For this reason, we stipend $500 and $1,000 for participation and completion.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

AOT’s approach is intersectional and cross-sectorial, as we believe that in order for high quality programming to take place, we need to engage stakeholders overseeing STEM education policy in the local community; work directly with staff at the schools we aim to serve; and engage the technology industry’s resources, knowledge and funding to help train and hire our students. Achieving success means AOT will have a broader impact beyond any one program year – by fostering systemic change that changes the face of tech in LA to increasingly include the presence of low-income youth of color receiving high quality computer science/STEM education and engaging in the local tech sector workforce through internships and career development. And the tech sector jobs made available to AOT alumni come with an average salary of $88,000 – versus a median average salary of $54,000 in the general American workforce.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

AOT program staff tracks attendance, assessments, project completion and other information that helps make decisions on how to improve the outcomes of each program. Evaluation data is maintained in AOT’s internal data systems. Data is evaluated weekly for learning assessments, twice per year for current program iterations, once per year for alums and once per year for the development of our annual report. Further, AOT tracks various metrics to inform programmatic shifts, recruitment, and participant progress. These include key performance indicators for student, volunteer and internship partner success, and information about our alumni [their move to higher education and success in the tech sector]. Upwards of 85% of AOT graduates are accepted into college tech programs or have obtained a career in the field.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 478

Indirect Impact: 4,780

Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.

AOT partners with several organizations to support student recruitment, professiol development, and internship placements within our LA-based programs. Student recruitment partners include DIY Girls, LA Promise Fund, LA Urban League and LA County schools. Professiol development partners include: Sp, Accenture, Disney, NBCUniversal, FactSet, Disney/Hulu and Amazon. Internship partners include: Accenture, On Board Experience, Sempra, LA County, City tiol Bank and Clorox.