ScriptEd equips underserved students living in tech hubs with coding skills and professional access, supported by a community of tech volunteers. Our scaffolded approach develops the competencies and fortitude that propel youth to become producers of technology, galvanizing a 21st century workforce representative of all people.
Two compounded problems are at work - a dismally homogenous tech sector that has become the poster child for lack of diversity and inclusion; and an irrelevant education system that fails to prepare students with a.) tangible skills required for success in the real world and b.) the competencies to define the future of the labor market. By building a partnership between schools and the tech industry, ScriptEd aims to equip young people with the skills and networks to lead the future of innovation, and in turn, enhance the cultural competency of the tech sector.
Why our solution will solve the problem:
ScriptEd’s Theory of Change posits that tiered skill and professional development over time (Exposure > Experience) plus explicit workforce readiness (Employment) equips students with the competencies and access to pursue careers in technology. This scaffolded pipeline is supported by a community of tech volunteers coupled with explicit peer community-building, creating a robust network. As outlined by a detailed logic model, our methodology honors a high touch approach, where students participate in our program over the course of several years, advancing from tier to tier as a peer group. Currently, 65% of our alumni are pursuing a path in computer science.
Our solution's stage of development:
Our target outcomes:
The long-term impact is that American youth of color from historically oppressed communities - 50% of total youth served - will secure high-end computing jobs: web developers, software engineers, etc. Our volunteers are deployed to over 50 schools, working with 1,400 students every week in learning fundamental coding languages; students then level up to advanced skills training at companies’ offices and secure paid engineering internships. Annual datapoints assess coding skills performance, retention & completion, social-emotional growth, high school graduation rates and college matriculation. Currently, ScriptEd has a full-time staff of 21, deploying over 200 volunteers in NYC and San Francisco.
How we will measure our progress:
The populations we will benefit initially:
The regions we will benefit initially:
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The technologies we employ:
Why our solution is unique:
Our model is a coalition, bringing together the tech industry and schools to ensure a 21st C. education. The use of volunteers makes our solution economical and scalable in any tech hub. Many peers prioritize exposure but with our focus on career readiness, our students complete the program with a portfolio of technology they produced. Our solution is not a piece of technology but a program to teach youth how to build it. The ScriptEd model honors that intractable societal challenges cannot be solved by any piece of technology if not accompanied by a deep, continual investment in communities.
Why our solution is human-centered:
ScriptEd was founded to provide access to a future in tech for underserved youth. Our use of technology is to deliver our education program; we use an original tool called PopCode, developed for ScriptEd students by ScriptEd volunteers, that allows youth to practice their code. We provide hundreds of laptops to students since the majority of them do not have access to a computer at home. We provide opportunities for youth to build community and peer support, hugely important when affecting youth outcomes. Every decision we make is an investment in a young person’s economic fulfillment.
How people will access our solution:
Volunteers are deployed in schools and companies throughout NYC and the Bay Area to deliver our programming and it is always free for students. As a non-profit, we raise our funds from institutions and individuals to provide free, critical programming to the communities with whom we partner. We ask schools to commit to the program by paying what they can, usually between $2,000-$6,000 per year. We provide Metrocards to students for any travel to programming or events; we provide laptops to advanced students and establish strategic partnerships to help meet additional needs of the community.
Technology-Readiness Level:6-8 (Demonstration)
Where we are located:United States
How we will sustain our team financially:
ScriptEd has a strong reputation in its two current sites, NYC & San Francisco, and is successfully fundraising, generating earned income, and evaluating our work in the spirit of continuous quality improvement. With a strong board of directors, a growing team and tremendous momentum, our fundraising prospects are strong, and we received our first $1M grant this year for continued expansion. While our philanthropic revenue is still growing, a sustainability goal is to build out more earned income strategies through corporate engagement programs. We will also leverage our growing presence in San Francisco to generate more national funds.
To support this growth, we are continuing to invest in our development and operations departments. This includes a Development Manager, a Corporate Partnerships Manager and Operations Manager.
The factors limiting our success:
The most limiting factor currently is our capacity. This is a necessary investment to manage and sustain our growth, but serves as a check to scaling rapidly. As youth service providers, the quality of our program is our top priority, and we are evaluating our work to determine the most effective ways to scale without compromising the integrity of our model. We just completed a strategic planning process, and are expanding in San Francisco schools, deepening our workforce readiness programming in NYC, while continuing to build our operational infrastructure.
How long we have been working on our solution:5+ years
How long it will take to develop a pilot:We have already developed a pilot.
How long it will take to scale beyond our pilot:We have already scaled beyond pilot.
Our expected annual budget:
How much of our budget we've secured to date:
Our promotional materials:
We're looking for partners in these fields:
Why we're applying to Solve:
As a convener of community by design, ScriptEd is compelled by opportunities that establish like-minded partnerships across sectors toward a common goal. We believe that it takes a village to address the complexities of institutional inequity, and we would be thrilled join an intrepid group of leaders working to engender 21st Century learning and access in communities historically left out of market leadership. As a Solver, we would be excited to more intentionally create partnerships that improve our model, learn new tools, reach more students and create a framework for ongoing scale.
Our current partners:
Blue Mountain Capital Management
Rent the Runway
Group 9 Media (formerly Thrillist)
Bark & Co. (BarkBox, Inc.)
The Vaan Group