A technology divide persists in the United States. Recent studies have shown that young people of color, low-income individuals, and women are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers and career training programs (NSF, 2003). Young people of color face several barriers for entry into STEM related careers including lack of role models and networking, information gap along with digital divide, perception of IT as a while male career, and lack of commitment from practice and the academy to recruit and work to retain young people of color in STEM related fields of study (Payton, 2004). Alternatives aims to respond to this gap and to assist young people of color to break down the barriers. This final report documents the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of an applied research project into STEM based programming. The report is organized into four main sections. The first presents an overview of the issue Alternatives aims to address, namely the technology gap among urban youth of color. The second major section provides an overall description of Alternatives, one of a very few youth programs focused on technology capacity building in North Minneapolis. The third section crafts a programmatic description based on scholarly and research evidence. The final section offers Alternatives conclusions and recommendations based on a comparison of its program to the research-based program. This applied research project aims to open up conversations on how Alternatives can provide the best program given available resources.
Conducted on behalf of Alternatives Inc. Supported by the Northside Seed Grant program (NSG), a program of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), University of Minnesota.
Dixon, Brice; VeLure Roholt, Ross; Alternatives Inc..
Closing the Gap: Enhancing Technology Programming for Youth in North Minneapolis.
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