Experiencing STEM alongside Googlers like them
Google first partnered with Code2College in 2017, hosting the organization’s first-ever Interview Workshop. Since then, Googlers have given thousands of volunteer hours to Code2College, helping out with after-school coding classes, STEM case competitions, professional skills workshops, and so much more.
“We just published our latest Diversity in STEM report, and we were proud to announce that Google secured the number one spot on our leaderboard by posting 537 volunteer hours over the last year. This is the most hours that any company has posted with Code2College in a single year, ever,” says Matt.
The volunteering is led by people like Derrell Monroe, an Engagement Manager on the Google Public Sector team, who is also the Google Austin ambassador for Code2College. Derrell wanted to become a “computer genius” when he grew up, and is now helping kids realize similar goals.
“I’ve worked with students of all ages. One of the things I notice most is that few are looking for careers in STEM, whether due to lack of access to curriculum or no role models in those types of careers,” says Derrell. “My motto? ‘What they see is what they’ll be’. By working with Code2College, I can show these students the art of the possible and hopefully inspire them to all become computer geniuses.”
Then there’s Nuha Elkhiamy, Director of Program Management and Google Austin Engineering Site Lead. As a Muslim woman, Nuha recalls being one of only four women—and the only one in hijab—in her freshman Introduction to Computer Programming class at Indiana University, where she was studying business and computer information systems. The experience shaped her passion for helping all people feel like they could belong in tech.
“Shortly after joining Google in Austin, I connected with the local site leadership team to inquire about our community outreach efforts. I was introduced to Matt at Code2College and, together, we co-created the first ever STEM competition workshop. It was a huge success for our volunteers and Code2College students,” said Nuha.
Other Google volunteers, many from the Black and Latina/Latino employee resource groups, regularly turn up to support the students participating in Code2College programs. “Having the opportunity to learn from Googlers—especially Googlers who look like the students we serve—is fantastic, especially given the strength of the Google brand,” says Matt.
“We've got Googlers from all over the country, from Austin to Atlanta, Detroit, and pretty soon New York, Chicago, and Boulder, volunteering in a variety of roles. It’s pretty exciting to watch this partnership scale.”