As Miami emerges as an international tech hub with increased demand for skilled talent, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will invest $2.25 million in CodePath to expand its programming at Florida International University (FIU) and launch new programs at Florida Memorial University (FMU) and Miami Dade College (MDC).
CodePath, a national nonprofit seeking to increase diversity in computer science and engineering, is partnering with higher education institutions to:
- complement their computer science curricula to align with industry needs;
- prepare students for competitive internships;
- place students in software engineering roles at leading tech companies.
“Miamians are talented, full of grit and determination. Increasingly, they seek to bring those attributes to careers in tech,” said Raul Moas, Knight’s Miami program director. “By investing in CodePath, we are investing in the aspirations of Miamians and key educational institutions which enable our community to succeed.”
CodePath provides no-cost software engineering courses, career services and access for computer science students to successfully complete their undergraduate education and land competitive technical roles after graduation. Since 2017, CodePath has served more than 10,000 students, 70% of which come from Black, Latino/a or low-income backgrounds.
“We must create more support structures to cultivate a tech talent pool that reflects Miami’s population,” said Michael Ellison, CEO and co-founder of CodePath. “Through our Knight partnership, we will serve and attract college students to join our tech movement and create a larger, more diverse talent pipeline for employers.”
In 2020, CodePath launched its programming at FIU with a course on Android development. Today, multiple CodePath courses are now integrated into FIU’s computer science curriculum, and the nonprofit to date has taught nearly 100 students, arming them with industry-relevant technical skills, including web and mobile development, cybersecurity and technical interview preparation.
“The support that CodePath is able to give students is invaluable. Through their guidance, I found the career path I want to pursue in computer science,” FIU student Anthony Pena said. “During the program, I built an award-winning mobile application, secured technical internships at Meta (formerly known as Facebook), Amazon and other high growth tech companies. SXSW EDU 2022 selected me to speak. Also, in March, I will start working full-time as a software engineer, while I continue to pursue my bachelor’s degree.”
This investment builds on Knight’s support of Miami Tech, including a $15 million commitment in Florida International University, the University of Miami and Baptist Health South Florida announced in February of this year. As part of the announcement, FIU established the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences, UM expanded its Institute of Data Science and Computing and Baptist Health launched a health care innovation fellowship. In September, Knight announced $510,000 in investments to four local organizations and entities that help boost a sense of community among tech practitioners in the city.
”With this investment by CodePath, FIU has a unique opportunity to further expand our strategic efforts to prepare a new generation of tech workers for 21st-century jobs,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “By providing all students with learning opportunities focused on excellence and innovation, we are positioning them to be change-makers and problem solvers in the tech sector.”
“The need for individuals with quality technical skills is in high demand, and Florida Memorial University is committed to helping our students succeed in all areas of education, especially in the realm of computer science and engineering,” said Dr. Jaffus Hardrick, Florida Memorial University President. “We greatly appreciate the commitment of CodePath and the Knight Foundation for cultivating opportunities for underserved students here in South Florida.”
“This investment from Knight Foundation will accelerate the pathway for Miami Dade College students to economic prosperity through the supplemental resources and services provided by CodePath,” said Miami Dade College President Madeline Pumariega. “We know our students reflect the rich diversity of our community, and their passion, talents and perspectives will enhance Miami’s tech ecosystem. We are proud to join our partner institutions in this endeavor.”
”With this investment by CodePath, FIU has a unique opportunity to further expand our strategic efforts to prepare a new generation of tech workers for 21st-century jobs. By providing all students with learning opportunities focused on excellence and innovation, we are positioning them to be change-makers and problem solvers in the tech sector.”
—FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg.