AT&T Gives Florida Tech $35K for Computer Science Camp for Girls

Company, University Partner to Develop 21st Century Workforce

MELBOURNE, FLA. — AT&T has presented Florida Institute of Technology with a $35,000 gift to fund computer science camps next year in Orlando for 6th- to 12th-grade girls.

The camps are scheduled to start in January 2016 and will serve approximately 40 students. They will be operated by the university’s weVENTURE women’s business center, the Orlando Center and skillspace.

Some estimates indicate that of the more than one million computer-related jobs available by 2020, less than 5 percent are expected to be filled by women educated in the United States.

“It is critical for our community to prepare girls to pursue 21st-century career opportunities, and Florida Tech is happy to join with AT&T to help make that happen,” said Leslie Hielema, vice president of the university’s Orlando Center.

At the camps, students will be have the opportunity to develop skills in software development, including coding. They will also learn to work in teams, develop their leadership skills, interact with potential employers, learn from role models, develop their technological creativity and enhance their ability to help one another problem solve. In addition, each student will connect with a mentor who will assist her in consideration of software development or computer science as a field of study in college.

“The weVENTURE women’s business center at Florida Institute of Technology provides learning opportunities in STEM-related fields that will enable women to become entrepreneurial leaders and achieve economic independence,” said AT&T Regional Director Troy McNichols. “AT&T’s support for this program creates the foundation for entrepreneurship that helps ensure success for these young women.”

This approach, of fostering STEM careers in students while also mentoring them, encapsulates the university’s ‘High Tech with a Human Touch’ credo, Hielema noted.

“Encouraging girls and young women to consider careers in technology, science and entrepreneurship is core to our efforts in Orlando and across the weVENTURE network,” added Shea Glenny, weVENTURE Orlando director.

weVENTURE is one of a series of new community assets put forth by Florida Tech. Others include the Orlando-based Tech Sassy ‘Preneurs Summer Camp.

For more information on next year’s computer science camps, contact Hielema at or 407-629-7132.


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