With the 2013 launch of the Googler-in-Residence (GIR) Program, Google piloted a partnership with Howard University with a long-term goal of promoting diversity and preparing future leaders in the STEM industry. Since then, the GIR has expanded to six additional colleges including Hampton University, Fisk University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Xavier University and Dillard University, embedding Google engineers as faculty at the HBCUs.

On Thursday, Howard University released a statement that they will be partnering with Google to up the ante on this black tech excellence with the launch of Howard West.The three-month summer agenda will provide opportunities for rising juniors and seniors in the University’s Computer Science program to complete a residency at Google’s Mountain View campus in Silicon Valley. The residency includes a dedicated workspace and a generous stipend to cover housing and other expenses.

“Howard West will produce hundreds of industry-ready black computer science graduates, future leaders with the power to transform the global technology space into a stronger, more accurate reflection of the world around us,” said Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick. “We envisioned this program with bold outcomes in mind – to advance a strategy that leverages Howard’s high-quality faculty and Google’s expertise, while also rallying the tech industry and other thought leaders around the importance of diversity in business and the communities they serve.”

Google credits the prestige HBCU for the vision and groundwork to make the program happen. "During my time at Howard, I worked side-by-side with future lawyers, doctors, writers, entertainers, architects and business leaders. The spirit of total possibility put me on my path to Harvard Business School and ultimately Google,” said Bonita Stewart, Google’s Vice President of Global Partnerships. “Howard West will continue Howard’s tradition of providing unprecedented access to opportunity, only now with a presence in the heart of Silicon Valley."

Howard West will serve the entire tech ecosystem. Completion of the program, set to matriculate 740 students within the next five years, will count towards 12 graduation credits through an immersion curriculum. The program is a huge step in bridging the cultural divide between declaring a major in Computer Science and landing a job in tech. Kudos to Google and Howard University for creating a platform for our future dreamers and creators in tech.

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