At the GeekWire Summit today, it was announced that the Geeks Give Back Campaign, which is a partnership between Bank of America and GeekWire, aims to raise $250,000 for scholarships. The funds raised will be matched by Washington State.
It was also announced that investor Gary Rubens will step up to match donations as well—up to $125,000. Earlier this year Rubens donated $20 million to the scholarship fund. According to GeekWire, he hopes to inspire other donors to help the “next generation of technology workers—particularly those that may have a more difficult time entering the industry.”
The scholarships will be distributed by the nonprofit organization Washington State Opportunity Scholarships. The funds will be earmarked for low- to middle-income students pursuing college degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
“The Opportunity Scholarship is a game-changing workforce development program that will impact Washington families for generations to come,” said Naria Santa Lucia, Executive Director of WSOS. “Our state’s thriving technology industries, including software engineering, biomedical research, clean energy, and so much more, has produced a critical demand for qualified college graduates who will learn, train and work in Washington.”
According to WSOS, “63% of Opportunity Scholars are women (13% higher than the national average) and 52% of Scholars self-identify as people of color (a whopping 39% higher than the national average).”
The Geeks Give Back campaign program is in its second year. This year’s campaign will run from October 1 through December 2, 2015.