Fortune 500 software company Adobe gave $1 million to Maryland’s Bowie State University as a part of a new program to increase diversity in the tech talent pipeline.
The program, called the Adobe Anchor School Program, will provide 100 scholarships of up to $15,000 for students of color along with, “providing students with training, career readiness, internships, financial assistance and digital tools to fuel their professional careers,” said Brian Miller, Adobe’s chief talent, diversity and inclusion officer, in a statement.
As an inaugural member of the program, Bowie State will be a part of shaping how this program best aids schools in the future. This investment falls in line with other major tech companies like Google and Apple investing $6.25M in Morgan State alone.
These types of million dollar investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions show an effort to curb trends of racial disparities on tech teams. The number of U.S. technical employees who are Black or Latinx rose by less than a percentage point at Google and Microsoft between 2014 and 2019, according to reporting by Wired, based on numbers self-reported by the tech giants.
With 25% of Black graduates with STEM degrees coming from HBCUs like Bowie State, the hope is these large investments can help to build a relationship with the tech giants that result in jobs with high incomes.
“This new partnership with Adobe will enable Bowie State to amplify the work we’ve already begun to create an entrepreneurial environment for innovation, enabling greater supports for increasing digital literacy in our data sciences and analytics, cyber security and digital media programs,” said BSU President Aminta H. Breaux, referring to its existing entrepreneurship academy.
BSU was joined by North Carolina’s Winston Salem State University and California’s San Jose State University as the initial schools in the program.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. -30-