“Everybody approaches problems in different ways and if you only have a certain type of computer scientist, then you are missing a whole part of the solution.” 
- Kevin Smith, Product Development Engineer, ELiTE Education

We need more students from diverse backgrounds to have access to computer science (CS) education so that they can be creators, not just consumers, of tomorrow’s technology. Yet we know that many students lack access to CS learning opportunities in school (in the US, for example, only 1-in-4 schools offers programming). One of the ways we’re working to address the lack of diversity in the tech industry and the lack of access to CS education is through the RISE Awards.

The RISE Awards are an annual grants program for nonprofit organizations that promote CS education opportunities with a specific emphasis on outreach to girls and underrepresented minorities. In 2015, 37 organizations from 17 countries received RISE Awards for projects ranging from programming clubs in Johannesburg to workshops on CS and music production in San Francisco.

Learning about CS promotes valuable problem solving skills that students can apply to any field of study. Unfortunately, many students have a negative perception of what CS is and who it’s for. By partnering with nonprofits that are providing students with access and exposure to CS, we hope to change this perception and encourage more students to pursue CS. We’ve been inspired by the creativity and passion we’ve seen from our past RISE awardees, and this year we’re excited to expand the reach of the RISE awards by opening two rounds of funding applications for nonprofit organizations.

The RISE Awards are now accepting applications through February 19, and more information on the application process is listed on our website. Visit g.co/csedu to learn more about Google’s other CS resources, including our CS teacher professional development awards, Computer Science for High School (CS4HS), which is also currently accepting applications for the 2016 year.