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Tech Exposure Day a success at Mercedes Benz

Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (File.)

Mercedes Benz Stadium recently hosted Tech Exposure day (TEXD) which saw over 3000 students participate and attend along with a plethora of companies and nonprofits. The event saw over 50 similarly aligned organizations, companies and community partners represent themselves at Tech Village within the stadium.

The March 2 event was hosted by CodeHouse, a national nonprofit organization hoping to “tackle the diversity gap in tech”. TEXD came with backing from major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM and more. It was founded by Ernest Holmes, a now Morehouse graduate and professional working at Google. 

Breaking into the tech industry

Alongside Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering (WECE) at Georgia Tech, Techsgiving was one of the organizations which used the TEXD opportunity to introduce kids into STEM fields. 

WECE and Techsgiving partnered up to teach students how to build circuits at the event and were thrilled with the results, said Tasnim Rahman, board member of Techsgiving.

Tech Village sign at the TEXD event. (Screenshot from Techsgiving’s Instagram.)

Techsgiving, a non-profit organization, “[helps] build a more equitable tech future in Black and Brown communities across the globe,” according to their Instagram profile

“It tends to be a common issue where underserved communities don’t have as much access to tech literacy as other schools,” Rahman said.

Rahman spoke about the opportunity she had to go to a magnet high school where she’s from in New York that opened up a lot of opportunities for her — and how that was in stark contrast to her other school.

“We had access to engineering classes in [the magnet] high school whereas in my last year of highschool I was in public school and they didn’t have as many resources or classes like engineering classes for kids to explore,” Rahman said. “On top of that, in the magnet school I had access to classes at a university which I didn’t have access to when I went to a public school.”

While she’s still new to the Atlanta area, Rahman says living in both New York and Atlanta has helped her notice patterns.

“It’s consistent across the board whether you’re in New York or Atlanta, the underserved communities that tend to be majority-minority students — whether Black or Brown — don’t have as much access to these great resources as other students do,” Rahman said.

Year of the youth

Students participate at TEXD. (Photo from Techsgiving.)

The mission of CodeHouse, Techsgiving, and dozens of other organizations align with the Mayor’s “year of the youth goals” for 2023, says Rahman.

Mayor Andre Dickens has long been an advocate for youth training in the tech industry. Dickens is a Georgia Tech graduate himself and vice-president of TechBridge, an Atlanta-based nonprofit “dedicated to breaking the cycle of generational poverty through the innovative use of technology to transform nonprofits,” according to the website. Dickens also spearheaded its workforce development for non-traditional students, TechBridge Technology Career Program, in 2016. 

“The youth are going to be our future leaders and starter-founders or CEOs or whatever you name it. But in order for them to dream big and do big things they need to be able to see those things,” Rahman said. “The fruits of everybody’s labor will show in the next 10-20 years when these children grow up and are able to make changes in the world simply because of what they had access to and got to see while they were young.”

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