Nonprofit Spotlight: Techbridge Girls

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In May, PennyLoafer donors collectively gave to Techbridge Girls!

The Rundown

  • Years founded: 2000

  • Leadership: Nikole Collins-Puri became CEO in 2016. In a short period, she made the org financially strong, and expanded its reach nationally. She’s won numerous awards, including the 1954 Project Luminary Award this year which honors Black leaders in education, who “fulfill the promise of quality education for ALL”.

  • Issue they address: barriers to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers for girls of color.

  • What they do: equip educators with equity training and culturally-relevant curricula to create STEM enrichment programs that empower girls of color.

  • How they do it:

    • High quality after school programming for girls in 4-12th grade that provide hands on STEM learning, career exploration, role model visits, and field trips.

    • Train and equip educators at partner sites across the country to recruit and retain BIPOC girls in STEM programming more effectively. Provide gender-responsive and culturally relevant curricula, material kits, and equity training.

    • Advocate for STEM practices and systems that amplify voices of girls and educators from marginalized communities.

Why they were chosen

Techbridge Girls is “reengineering the way STEM education is taught”. Their award winning curriculum centers the potential and stories of BIPOC women in STEM. They recognize that STEM careers have the potential to create economic security for girls from marginalized communities, with significantly higher paying jobs, and that increasing access to high quality STEM education can help BIPOC girls break into fields they have long been shut out of.

  • In the last 5 years, Techbridge Girls went from an after school STEM program serving ~800 youth in 3 cities, to serving 25K girls across 28 states. Moving to a partner model has allowed them to expand and scale their programing + curricula to create systems level change. They have a bold goal to serve 1M girls by 2030.
  • They perform rigorous evaluations on their program. Techbridge Girls are 2x more likely to earn a college STEM degree than the national average.

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🚀 STEM careers are hot. They are projected to grow at a faster rate than the average for all occupations in the next decade, spurred by the need for software developers and information security analysts. On average, STEM workers, earn significantly more than similarly educated non-STEM workers.

📉 However, Black and Hispanic adults remain underrepresented in STEM careers and are less likely to earn degrees in STEM fields. While women make up only a quarter or less of workers in computer science and engineering jobs.

👩🏽‍🔬 Programs like Techbridge Girls that are improving access to and retention of girls, especially BIPOC girls, in high-quality STEM education increase the pipeline of women entering these competitive, high paying fields.

If you enjoyed this and want to get involved, you can support the Quality Education cause on PennyLoafer, starting with as little as $5/month. Each month, you’ll support and learn about a different nonprofit working to improve the education system.