Why Obama CTO touts tech as path to success for disadvantaged youths

By February 10, 2012 | 0 Comments

Technological advances help to expand the economic potential of countries across the globe and few people understand this fact better than the president of the USA. This is perhaps why Barack Obama, with the help of his CTO (Chief Technical Officer), has backed plans to make private-sector job placements and experience available to some of the most disadvantaged youngsters in order to bridge the gap between poverty and IT education.

Barack Obama US President Why Obama CTO touts tech as path to success for disadvantaged youths
Image Source: Asia Society

It should be easy to understand why Obama might want to bring a quarter of a million private-sector job placements to the poorest in the US. These are the children who often lose out on employment later in life because their qualifications and experience in relation to technology are simply not up to scratch when compared with someone from a more affluent background.

The initiative that Obama hopes will push this dream forward is Summer Jobs +, which is being spearheaded by his administration’s CTO, Aneesh Chopra, according to CNET. This scheme is being expanded beyond its initial reach, with a secondary section called Code Summer + getting youth placements in tech companies so that they can learn the basics of coding and experience the kind of lifestyle they can hope to enjoy if they later decide to seek a career in this industry.

Another supporter of this scheme is Mitch Kapor, who runs a foundation dedicated to increasing the number of African-American males who decide to continue their studies after they have left high school. The key idea here is that exposure to the working environment and benefits of the tech industry will help fuel the desire of the least privileged children to improve their position in life by continuing their education and improving their prospects.

Mr Kapor explained that a number of universities, including Stanford, UC Berkley and UCLA, will be offering similar placements as part of their participation in schemes operated by the Level Playing Field Institute. The focus is on getting kids interested in science, technology, maths and engineering, which are all areas that disadvantaged children are less likely to move into later in life without the proper information and motivation at key stages in their development.

Summer Jobs + will be joining forces with Schema.org in order to make it easier for students to find placements and jobs in their area during the summer vacation. Mr Chopra said that the scheme should be put into action within the first three months of the year so that children can prepare for their summer work placements with plenty of time to spare.

It may be difficult for people whose upbringings were relatively untouched by poverty to understand just how important the work of President Obama, Mr Chopra and Mr Kapor could be in this area. It might be second nature for those from wealthier households to do summer work, either at the companies that employ their parents or at other institutions, because the opportunities are readily available to them.

However, if you come from a home or a background where further education is not common and you lack the means to actually find out about placements, then the obstacles to a future in technology start to mount up. Providing a free laptop for underprivileged homes is a start, but that free laptop will be put to better use if its new owner can get subsequent support in the form of schemes such as Summer Jobs +.

About the Author : Donna B. is a Freelance and Staff writer who writes informative & creative articles on Technology for various technology company. Her expertise are in writing articles related to internet providers, wireless broadband , Social media etc.

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