Alpha Phi Alpha Brothers, Morehouse Alums & CodeHouse Founders Land $1 Million Grant From Google.org

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CodeHouse has landed a $1 million grant from Google.org, money to help the nonprofit beef up its mission to battle the diversity gap in technology.
According to a news release, the funding will enable CodeHouse to expand its initiatives to students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Washington, D.C., and North Carolina over the next two years. It also will allow the Atlanta-based CodeHouse to further its reach and strengthen its mission to build a diverse tech workforce in the U.S.

 The organization will use the grant from the charitable arm of search engine giant Google to grow CodeHouse Scholars Initiative (CHSI), its four-year mentorship and scholarship program.

According to MSN, Morehouse College alumni and Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. brothers Ernest Holmes and Tavis Thompson founded the nonprofit to encourage Black and Latinx students to pursue careers in STEM.

Starting in March 2021, CHSI provides students with technical training, mentorship, scholarships, and internship opportunities as they matriculate, along with support from other leading tech companies, including PayPal, the program’s founding partner, among others, CodeHouse reports.

“Since CodeHouse’s founding, we’ve been able to reach thousands of students of color in the Atlanta area and equip them with the tools they need to successfully pursue careers in tech,” stated Holmes, CodeHouse’s president and co-founder. “With this grant from Google.org, we’re able to take our efforts to the next level and impact the lives of thousands more.”

The new drive is perhaps timely in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) space. While STEM fields are projected to experience the highest growth in job numbers between now and 2030, only 28% of the STEM workforce is female, and just 7% is Black, and 6% is Latinx/Hispanic.  

The STEM workforce has reportedly risen rapidly in recent decades. Yet, Black and Hispanic workers remain underrepresented in STEM jobs versus their share of the U.S. workforce, a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. government data shows.

In a statement, Holmes added, “As a Morehouse College graduate and current Google software engineer, securing this funding from Google.org means the world. Not only does this grant help CodeHouse support even more HBCU students throughout their tech journeys, but it also reaffirms that my employer is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry. To find synergies like these between your personal and professional endeavors is truly what it’s all about.”