The Knowledge House opening doors to the tech industry for students in the Bronx

Crystal Cranmore Image
Friday, March 29, 2024
New program aims to help underserved students earn career in tech
Crystal Cranmore has the story.

BRONX (WABC) -- All it took was an email from a high school counselor to open a network of opportunities for Fernanda Somohano.

"That was a sign that maybe I should try it," she said. "I've always been interested in robots and how they work."

A college degree and career in technology seemed a little out of reach.

"Because out-of-state pricing is really expensive," Somohano said. "I was thinking of taking a gap year."

That is until she heard about The Knowledge House.

It connects underserved communities to opportunities in technology.

The organization offers paid training programs to high school students, plus adults earning less than $60,000 a year.

Completion of the yearlong fellowships puts you in a pipeline for positions in data science, cyber security, and more.

"It's really about making sure that people know about the tech opportunities. That's why we are in the high schools. That's why we're doing digital literacy in the community. That's why we're doing workforce development," said Daniel Adeyanju, The Knowledge House.

The Knowledge House started in 2014 in the Bronx and expanded to Newark in 2021 with the mission of increasing representation in the industry.

According to a 2020 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, white employees make up about 62% of the U.S. tech industry. Asians make up roughly 25%. Hispanics and Blacks make up about 7 and 6% respectively.

So, what's driving the disconnect?

"A lot of students when they're finished high school, they're not prepared to go to college for various reasons. Some people it may be a financial reason, but we want to be able to have a pathway to success," said Monique Wise, The Knowledge House.

The organization has connected more than 2,000 people to jobs.

"I think the knowledge house provides all the resources all the education that I need and we are doing real projects that companies would love to see," said Emmanuel Awe, participant in The Knowledge House program.

The next generation of tech enthusiasts is encouraged to attend an open house on March 30.

Somohano is now studying computer sciences at NJIT.

"During that period of doubt, The Knowledge House was there for me," she said.

One click turned a dream into a reality.

The Knowledge House is hosting a workshop Saturday March 30 and there is still space available. Click here for more.


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