By Shannon Ralph, The Next Family
Looking for something fun and educational for the LGBTQ youth in your life this summer? Know a kid who’s interested in all things technological? Does your son or daughter talk about nothing but Minecraft ad nauseam?
Maven, a nonprofit organization that “fosters innovative solutions that empower LGBTQ youth,” is partnering with local LGBTQ organizations to present an exciting opportunity to LGBTQ youth in San Francisco, New York City, and Austin this summer. Maven will be offering FREE tech camps that will connect youth with LGBTQ professionals at technology giants in these cities.
The dates of the camps are:
San Francisco – June 15-26
New York City – July 6-17
Austin – July 27-31
Most days the day camp will run from 10:00am until 4:00pm.
Maven’s tech camps will focus on coding, programming, and game design and are open to any LGBTQ youth ages 14-19 (14-21 for the New York camp). The camp is for all levels from the curious to the more experienced. Kids do not have to be “techies” to apply!
According to Maven, the camp will include:
- Breakfast, lunch and TONS of snacks!
- Tour of tech companies
- LGBTQ tech professional Mentors
- Training in coding/programming and game creation
- Social justice and diversity in technology awareness
- Team building and networking
- Prizes and Gift Bags
Maven initially piloted the tech camp model in the San Francisco Bay area in 2014, and has extended it to New York City and Austin, TX for the upcoming summer. They are actively seeking partnerships with other LGBTQ and tech organizations nationwide to bring the camp to a wider audience across the country in future years. By encouraging LGBTQ youth interested in technology, Maven hopes to make the tech industry more diverse and inclusive of LGBTQ individuals.
“Our work contributes to making the tech sector a more inclusive community by engaging tech professionals in co-creating with LGBTQ youth and by providing LGBTQ professionals the opportunity to pay it forward to the next generation of tech leaders,” said Monica Ann Arrambide, CEO & Founder of Maven.
In addition to greater inclusion, Maven hopes the camps will enhance the career opportunities available to LGBTQ youth in the future by developing crucial 21st century skills. The camp will also provide important networking connections by putting youth face-to-face with tech developers within their local communities.