Enza Academy, founded in 2014 by Brandon Hill and Weeks Mensah, graduates of Stanford University and City College of New York respectively, is working to change the face of innovation…literally.
We are all very aware of the lack of diversity within Silicon Valley and the seemingly uniform look of young, white male employees with an occasional dot of color and estrogen here and there for good faith. While there are many publicized campaigns that state that many of the big wigs like Google and Microsoft are investing their efforts and dollars to diversify their talent pool, there is still much left to be desired.
Enter Enza Academy. Their goal is to develop a school that fosters leadership and technological innovation among high-potential youth in disadvantaged areas.
Instead of sitting around and waiting for funding that may never come, they have decided to jump to action and recently hosted a five day intensive program for 26 high school students, who participated in a “tech bootcamp” to brainstorm solutions that address issues within their own communities.
On the last day, the students pitched, in teams of five, their ideas to fix the issues they deemed to be the most pressing. First place and $1,500 was awarded to the team behind EduText, a digital textbook library that allows students to read and learn in a collaborative manner. Second place went to an app called She2U, which aims to simplify the process of colleges recruiting female student athletes. Third place, Culturize, is a platform for the research and discovery of culturally significant events. Teams presented in front of a judging panel that includes executives from the likes of TechCrunch and YouTube.
Ultimately, Enza’s goal is to open a network of schools across the nation that focus on uplifting low-income children of color and educating them on what has always been an elusive and unknown path – technology. This is a very noble and potentially effective cause worth backing and one that we hope industry big wigs, who make sure to promote their own efforts, will put their money where there mouth is if they truly wish to see the diversity of which they speak.
If you’d like to donate, help teach or know a child who can benefit from this, make sure you check out Enza’s website here.