In June, Viacom hosted 70 students from ScriptEd, a start-up nonprofit that aims to equip students in under-resourced schools with the fundamental coding skills and professional experiences that create access to careers in technology. The event was part of a three-day program to prepare ScriptEd students to enter professional environments for a six-week paid summer internship. Viacom employees ran a workplace skills training session with lessons about email etiquette, networking skills and much more.
Maurya Couvares founded ScriptEd based on her experiences working with students in New York City public schools and her interest in technology. “Students love technology,” she said. “They’re surrounded by it in their everyday lives. At the same time, before ScriptEd started almost no schools were offering computer science education. ScriptEd was created to give students an avenue to pursue their technology-related interests and passions.”
ScriptEd has grown expansively since its inception in 2012, with 27 students in two high schools. Now, the program serves 13 schools and 275 students and will grow to 30 schools across New York City next school year. That expansion stems from technology developers taking an interest in ScriptEd and connecting with those working in the industry, like Meghan Knoll, director of Product at Nick Jr. She began volunteering regularly with the organization after encountering some of the students while she was volunteering at a hackathon.
ScriptEd has been recognized by numerous organizations for its work in expanding technology education in New York public schools, including the White House, Teach for America, South by Southwest, Huffington Post, American Express, Ashoka and Google.